How are you holding up during this month’s emphasis on Valentine’s Day and Love?
Whether you have relished every single heart, piece of chocolate, flowers, cards, and mushy love songs… or whether you feel like you will scream if you see another exultation of a love-relationship-you-don’t-have… let me just say that Love (all kinds) is God’s idea.
Let us focus on True Love. (yes, I know you are hearing “Princess Bride” here, but bear with me, please)
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4.10, 16
God created us and God loves us. Perfectly. No one else can love us perfectly. God IS love. That is His nature. Whether or not we feel that or believe that is beside the point.
God is Love. And in His great, compassionate, relentless love, God reaches out for His beloved…
Back in the 17th century, George started out as a successful politician, but God’s love called him to be a pastor of a small church. In the midst of his “ordinary” life, he wrote poetry. Sadly, as a young man, he lay dying and gave his poems to a friend, saying “Please read them, and if you think they might be useful, do with them what you will.”
I’m so very grateful they were published posthumously. For George Herbert’s words speak to my very soul of True Love. Yes, his words were very useful.
Today, I invite you into the Love Feast of the Lamb.
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.
“A guest,” I answered, “worthy to be here”:
Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee.”
“Truth, Lord; but I have marred them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve.”
“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”
So I did sit and eat.George Herbert 1593-1633
Oh friend, “you must sit down and taste my meat” says Love.
“God is saying ‘Sit down. Rest here. Feast with Me. Be with Me. Enjoy My presence and let Me serve you first. I don’t need you to serve Me. I don’t need you for anything. I made you because I love you, and what I really want is to be with you. My deepest desire is not that you go off and serve Me, but that you would let Me love you.” (James Bryan Smith)
There are many voices clamoring for our attention.
Voices that say we are not enough to be loved, or that we have to do something remarkable to earn love. Today, I pray that you (and I) will quieten our lives long enough to hear the Lover of our souls whisper the ultimate blessing: “You are My beloved. My favor rests on you.”
How will you respond to this magnanimous Love?
May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”
©2022 Lucinda Secrest McDowell www.LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com