Growing up my bedroom faced a dirt road. A small gravel circular drive half-mooned just feet in front of my window. I watched the mail man drive up in a cloud of dust. He was as punctual as Betsy the cow at milking time.
He amazed me with his one handed skill. His left hand on the wheel, he sat in the middle of the bench seat. I saw him twist, pick up a package and push it into the mailbox. Deftly he put down the red flag then backed around to turn the car back the way he’d come because no one else lived down our mile of road.
Without a sound I let myself out of the house. My quiet steps crunched on the driveway, the only sound except for the chirp of farm birds conversing to each other from sagging electric lines high above me.
I opened the metal box, squinted inside and pulled out a small package with my name on it. On the return address was the name of a boy in my class. Heat burned my cheeks and I glanced quickly at the big white clapboard house. I shoved the square cardboard box under my shirt, grabbed the envelopes and daily paper, and hurried back inside.
All I could think was that daddy would have my hide if he knew a boy had sent me something. It was my first real Valentine’s Day gift.
I ducked into my bedroom and reached under the pleated skirt that covered an old stuffed chair I’d claimed for mine. All of my secrets were suspended on the board that ran the width of the chair. On the hidden ledge I kept my diaries, and all the sillinesses of a seventh-grade girl’s thoughts. I shoved the package alongside.
Inside was a red velvet box shaped like a heart and filled with chocolates.
I kept it until the chocolates were hard as rock. They were cherry filled. I hated cherry filled chocolates. But I loved that box and what it represented. Life continued, eventually I forgot the boy and the chocolates, and they petrified inside their pretty heart box.
Many love stories are similar. What once seemed alive dries up into an unrecognizable afterthought.
If I were to ask you which couple in the Bible you’d like to pattern your love after, who would you pick?
Abraham loved Sarai, but threw her under the bus to save his own skin twice by offering her into the arms of another.If I were to ask you which couple in the Bible you’d like to pattern your love after, who would you pick Click To Tweet
Isaac and Rebecca deceived and divided their love between children.
Jacob worked seven years (plus seven) for Rachel, and they “were but a day to him because of his love for her,” but their marriage grew disjointed and their family messy.
Adam and Eve, the very first couple, brought a catastrophic dark stain of sin into their love story and every story after.
God’s love exceeds every human replica. Immeasurable, steadfast, patient, and kind, it remains unmarred, pure and selfless.
Today, not unlike many days since God created man and woman, the definitions we give to love fly in directions far from His original design. We have taken an intrinsic part of His nature, and morphed it to fit our own passions and desires. In so doing, we elevate a god which cannot represent true love because it debases God’s righteous love. God’s love exceeds every human replica Click To Tweet
While February celebrates the precious gift of romantic love, I challenge you to dive into the deep ocean of God’s love. Bask in His true love, lift it higher than any human replica. Record how fundamentally true His love is in all His dealings with us.
It is God who breathes new life into dead and dried up hearts. Here are just five of my favorite verses about His love. Would you add some of yours to the list?
1. “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 ESV
2. “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15 ESV
3. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 ESV
4. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8 ESV
5. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 ESV
Dried up chocolate in a heart box might feel comparable to some of your experiences. But, look higher and you will swim deeper in His endless love.
Thank you for this challenge, Sylvia!
For me, the first thing that comes to my mind is 1st Corinthians 13:1-13…the old stand by.
“Charity, in Christian thought, the highest form of love, signifying the reciprocal love between God and man that is made manifest in unselfish love of one’s fellow man”.
I love that too! Thanks Jan!
Nancy E. Head
What a beautiful post. Dried up chocolates as a picture of our hearts! Thanks, Sylvia. Happy Valentines Day. God bless!
Thanks Nancy. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!
Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Yes that is a great one too. We thought of it often when our daughter was in her health crisis. Thank you Lois!
Always challenged by your words. Human love is so messy and ultimately weak.
God’s love is without rival or fault.
Thank you Gary. I like your statement: God’s love is without rival or fault. I appreciate you sharing that!
The “dried up chocolate” metaphor sure hit home. How often do we hold on to memories that we shoud let dry up (old hurts, grudges, past mistakes that we can’t change)? But instead of letting them go we nurture and feed those hurts and carry the burden. Your message is compelling–an encouragement to let some of those things go and look to the present and future and embrace God’s great love for us.
Such good thoughts Katherine. I hold onto things that aren’t even appetizing anymore at times. How I need to meditate on God’s love! Thanks so much for reading and weighing in with your wisdom!
Hmm… who would I pick? I’m not really sure, but I think Abraham and Sarah. Loved your point about how we sometimes need to let go of things in our lives. I was reminded that I can’t accept new unless I let go of the past.
Thanks J.D. I always appreciate your thoughts. Letting go of the past is sometimes a first step for God’s work to flourish. I think I might vote for Aquila and Priscilla although we aren’t really told much about them.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:38-39
Thanks Beckham for sharing another wonderful verse about God’s unending love. It’s a great one!
Eloise (Harder) Jordan
Love the picture of your home!!! One of the first couples I thought of was Boaz and Ruth. I’m surprised no one has put John 3:16 down. My bulletin board for this month is that verse with the word valentine going down through the middle. Thanks Sylvia for your articles, so much to think about.
Thanks Eloise! My niece Amy Goering is an accomplished artist. I love the painting too. John 3:16 was a top contender when I chose the five verses. So many good ones. I appreciate your kind words and thank you for commenting!
Thank you for sharing!
Sue, thank you for taking the time to read and respond!