February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

“We love, because He [God] first loved us.” I John 4:19 (NASB)

Here we are once again – Valentines Day. During the next 24 hours, the hearts of many will be elated by specific displays of love from the single red rose to the most grandiose bouquets. Already this morning, I have witnessed a marriage proposal. (And she said yes!)

Also during this day, many hearts will be broken, perhaps due to a forgotten gift. More still because there is no “special” someone in their life to produce a gift or some expression of love for them. I think now of my Uncle Walter who tomorrow, will bury his sweet wife of more years than I have been alive. Today is a reminder of a love lost.

Yet, today I lose all thought of candy (which my waist-line doesn’t need) and flowers. I’ll put aside any thoughts of small boxes containing shiny treasures or being whisked away for some romantic dinner. I will dwell on the thoughts that have riveted through my head for the last several weeks. I just want to fall more in love with the One who loves me most.

For the record, I live secure in the love my husband has for me. Our love has grown over the last 20 years and is still as sweet as it was in the beginning, actually it’s sweeter! But I still desire to love him more, to treat him better as the years come and go and be the godliest wife that I can be for him. Ladies, my Romeo deserves it – big time! It’s just that there is one little thing that could help or hinder my love for him – the intensity of my love for my God. The more I love Him, the more I am capable of loving others, including my husband.

Today, I confess to you that I do indeed, love my Lord, my Father, and my Redeemer. But I fear, like those to whom a stern letter of warning was written in Ephesus, I have left my first love. Okay, maybe not left entirely – but certainly I am guilty of letting the embers of my love get a little cold. Anyone out there feel the same way?

Admittedly, I had high hopes for 2011 but thus far it has not been smooth sailing. Now that’s not to say – it’s been horrible – it has not. But life has just gotten in my way more than expected and I guess I let my guard down. The next thing I know - wham! Need I say more?

As I write this to you, I feel my heart lighten up. It’s true, confession is good for the soul. There is a smile on my face and I can’t wait to tackle this day. You see, I’ve already confessed my sin to my Father, and now to you. I am immediately assured of His forgiveness and eternal abiding love. I just need to learn to push “life” aside a little more in favor of simply loving the Lord God Almighty with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength. Then He will see to it that life will work itself out and I will truly be able to love my neighbor as myself! Why am I such a slow learner? Sigh!

Before I leave you today, I do want you to know that in the name of Jesus, I love each one of you. Because I love my Jesus, I love writing these snippets from my life to hopefully encourage you in yours. I mean, it always helps me to know that I am not the Lone Ranger in my circumstances and it’s possible to overcome them in the name of the Lord.

Also, this month marks the beginning of YEAR 9 that I’ve been “writing out loud” for His glory! How long will it last? I don’t know – only Abba Father knows. I pray I will just be faithful.

In closing, whether you are married or single, attached or not, let ME wish you a Happy Valentines Day. Rest assured in God’s all powerful, gracious and lavish love for you (read I John 4:7-21). Then like the jewelry store ad says: Keep your heart open and love will find its way in!

From my heart to yours,
Barbara

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