Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. The hubby and I chose to spend it with my mother and grandmother who live just down the road. After 18 years of marriage, he and I find ways to enjoy time together without a formal holiday telling us to do so! And, there is no greater example of sacrificial love than my mom, who gave up her independence and moved in with my grandmother after the death of my grandfather over nine years ago.
So, mom and I spent the evening together in the kitchen doing what we love. But something wonderful and unexpected happened in between mashing potatoes and making salad dressing. My 89 year old grandmother walks in the kitchen with a tattered book bearing her name of the front.
The pages that unfolded under the name “Christine” (a name I only hope I can live up to that I share with her) contained the intimate heartfelt thoughts of a wartime soldier who longed to see his love. Yes, my grandfather had in fact written almost every day while his service in the Army kept him away.
As she turned the pages and shared the intimate details of their courtship and beginning years together it was as if history came alive and their love story was unfolding right in front of us.
Isn’t that what everyone wants? To be loved and to love deeply?
Is that what everyone wants? A written record that demonstrates affection and the longings of those that want so much to be with us?
And, isn’t that what God has given us yet we so often choose to neglect?
Yes, written in His Word are words that echo His love for us and ways to love others deeply as we demonstrate His love.
Jeremiah 31:3-4 (NIV)
The Lord appeared to us in the past,[a] saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt.
Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Just as my grandmother treasured the letters she re-read last night, we should treasure the letters God has written to us. I couldn’t help but think about how Jason and I would have missed this special evening if we had done something different and how the events that unfolded last night were such a wonderful reminder of what has been written for me……for you, to remind us of how much we’re loved.
Take some time over the next week to read God’s love letter to you. Take some time to share love with others and demonstrate the type of love that Christ died for us to have.
What words written in scripture help you remember that you are loved and have purpose on this earth?
What words written is scripture remind you that loving and serving others is when you are most like Christ?
How can you model God’s love to others in this upcoming week?
Dear Lord, Help everyone reading this today discover or re-discover your love for them. Give them a desire to spend time in your Word and, as they turn the pages, may you come alive to them in a real and personal way that meets their heart longing that needs to be filled. May your Word become alive and may our lives point people to the only true love that never ends, the love that comes from you.
In Jesus name. Amen.