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.
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.