February 14 is a day set aside each year to show that “special someone” how much we care about or even love them. So often we take for granted the ones who hold that place in our hearts or lives, so on this one day of the year, for those who many have forgotten to say it or show it on a regular basis, this is the day of reprieve and restoration of good standing in good graces…God willing.
This tradition has come a long way from its grave beginnings, of which I will not disgust this post with its grim, bloody beginnings for which both men and women eagerly participated in with the hopes of being fertile in the match-making love kinda way. I’ll let you discover the believed source on your own. Oh, my. Let’s just say, today, in the western world at least, it would be grounds for execution or at best prison. We’ve come along way, baby! And for that, millions are grateful!
Some believe, this special occasion evolved from the martyrdom of two men named Valentine who were slain at the hands of the Romans on February 14 and then their martyrdom honored by the Catholic church. Of course, after Shakespeare and Chaucer romanticized it in their work, it became more widely accepted and has evolved into what we know and observe today as the official Valentine’s Day.
Hearts flutter, anticipation creates a buzzing that makes you gleam with excitement of what awaits the one claimed as “the love of your life.” Children learn very quickly this is the one acceptable day of the year, for which they are encouraged, to let their tender hearts reach out to that “special someone” without fear of rejection. For others, like my daughter, the love of her life presented her with chocolate covered strawberries and roses—not a bouquet of roses mind you—but in the most delicate and colorful wrappings, she received a rose bush that will soon be planted to remind them year after year of the love they share. It’s the gift that keeps on giving in the richest sense of the word…Love. Love that is true in hearts that are true. No. There’s nothing like it on this earth.
Around this time of year a few years ago, the Lord gave me a vision. It was that of a human heart. I don’t mean a picture of a heart or symbol, but an actual heart that was beating. It was gray-scale in appearance, like that you would see in an echocardiogram. I could see and hear the heart beating, and I could feel the heart beating. I could see the blood vessels surrounding the heart through which the life giving source is pumped and distributed throughout our bodies. I pondered for quite a while on this. It was intriguing to say the least.
I was led to 1 Kings chapter 8, Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple. What leaped out at me was in verse 52, 53 Solomon is reminding God that the nation of Israel was set apart from every other nation as his own inheritance, and that they are God’s special possession.
We are grafted into the vine of God’s special possession through the promise given to through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We too are God’s special possession. Solomon’s prayer goes on to give praise to God who gives his people rest, stating that not one word has failed of all the good promises God gave us. Think about that. We are God’s special possession. Not that we are a possession to be owned or controlled by God. Indeed, God gives us freedom to choose whether or not we want to be loved by him, provided for by him, guided by him and protected by him. But when we do, God gives us everything he offers to us for our protection, guidance and prosperity on this earth with his promise that he will forever walk with us each and every day. Why? Because we are God’s heartbeat. We are the object of his love and affection.
Yes. What God wants is a relationship with us. A relationship is a two-way street. Just as you must spend time with your significant other, the love of your life, to develop your relationship so you can learn each other and grow with each other, the same is true of a relationship with God. We must spend time with him in his word and through prayer so we can get to know him better. What we fail to understand and all too often fail to accept is just how much God loves us….and no…He isn’t sitting on his throne shaking his scepter and waiting for the opportunity to put a pump knot on your head when you make a mistake. What we sometimes take for granted is the great extent God went to for us to be in a close relationship with him. That price was paid for by the life Jesus willingly gave on the Cross of Calvary for us. Because of his great love for us. Greater love has no man that he who lays down his life for someone else. Jesus did just that for us.
Just like it is sometimes hard for us to believe that someone could care for us so much that we would be set apart and honored by that someone special on the day of the Valentine, or any other day for that matter, it can be difficult to understand how God can see us as we really are and still love us and want to talk with us and walk with us on a daily basis…But…He does.
I must admit it took me a while to accept his love for me, after all I have done. But when I did, my life was transformed. I remember a Valentine’s Day many, many years ago. I was in my church’s women’s group and they were playing a game using the candy hearts with words on them. You know, the ones that say things like “Love Bug,” “Be Mine,” “Kiss Me,” ”Be True,” “Love Me,” etc. We were instructed to take five candies and spell a sentiment that would describe your relationship with “your true love.” With deep sentiment, a laugh and a smile on their face, each woman described their “true loves” as told by their five candies. Interestingly, (and I’m not exaggerating), each woman thought well of the efforts of the candies to describe their loves, until it came to mine. In fact, through laughter and in good humor, they said they just didn’t get it. Actually, I understood. I can’t remember exactly what mine said by now, but it made perfect sense to me. I wasn’t describing a man. I was describing, to the best of the candies’ ability, my relationship with Jesus, because he is “my one and only.”
Interestingly, how many of us think of our relationship with Jesus in this way? Do we put him first? Do we keep him first? Do we choose to keep him first even after we have been blessed with a person we can call “Our one true love?” Yes, I know. Perhaps my sentiment didn’t sound so romantic. I get it. But when it comes right down to it, God looks at our heart. He can see past what we so often get blind-sided by—the outward appearance and what our mouths can say but what our hearts can’t back up. Our good intentions that sift through the hands of time like sand in an hourglass. God knows what no one else can know about us. He knows every beat of our heart.
I was asked recently, “Do you think you’ll ever get married again?” My answer, “Perhaps. One day.” But rest assured, I know it is Jesus who captured my heart and in whose care I will always stay. The ministry of His love is what I proclaim on this great Valentine’s Day and every day.
So, whether you are single, married or in a relationship with whoever you decide to call “the love of your life,” “your special someone” or “My Sweet Valentine,” as you share the tender moments this day can bring, may the source of your love be settled with the One who is love…..The Lord God Almighty who will never leave you, “til the end of the age” (and that’s forever). Listen to His still small voice as He gently calls you today to come back to the heart of worship. Remember the time when you first loved him and you knew he loved you and let him love you back into wholeness again. Let his love bring warmth in your heart on this Valentine’s Day.
Love always remains as you go on your way.
Love always, I give to you as I look into your face.
Love always, I give you with a warm embrace.
©2018 Katrina Stanley
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