Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I’ve found a lot of stories and legends about the origins of the day, and it seems like there is no clear answer as to who the true “Saint Valentine” is and the true story, so I’m going with the one I was told when I was little. It was said that in the early centuries A.D., a priest was imprisoned for some reason or another, and wrote letters back to his congregation, encouraging them in the Lord. Heedless of his own dire circumstances, his thoughts, even to his death, were of his people. His “love letters” to his congregation supposedly began the tradition of sharing love letters from “your Valentine.”
It’s a discouraging day for many people. Thanks to the commercialization and romanticizing of the day, a lot of expectations seem to follow it. Great hopes are rooted in those expectations– everything from expecting a “great date,” to gifts and proposals. It seems as if there is so much pressure out there to “perform” in some way. Don’t get me wrong, there is something beautiful in wanting to do something for another person to show your love and appreciation for them, but when the day becomes about expectations of others, it can be so discouraging. If that “love letter” doesn’t arrive, what hopes and dreams are crushed?
Thankfully, the only One Who truly matters has written us a true love letter. Within its sixty-six books full of love for us, are nuggets that truly show just how deeply the Lord loves and cherishes us. Man will fail, but the Lord never does.
Jeremiah 31:3- the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Wow… how beautiful is that? “An everlasting love.” Unlike the fictional protestations of love in romance novels, we can trust that when the Lord says He loves us with an EVERLASTING love, we’re cherished. It’s so hard to believe, and yet we must. Otherwise, we call the God of Heaven and Earth a liar. Who are we to doubt the Word of Almighty God?
Lamentations 3:22-24- The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
That’s just so beautiful. “His mercies never come to an end. they are new every morning.” New. Endless Mercy. That’s just something that no man or woman can possibly hope to promise. We want to– at least I would hope we do– but we’re human. We will fail. We will “keep a record of wrongs,” and because of that, we’ll hold a grudge or refuse to forgive, but the Lord has promised us that His mercies are endless. It’s a bottomless pit of beautiful mercy. How often can we say anything is a bottomless pit– and it be GOOD?
In the Psalms, the Psalmist speaks of the “Steadfast love” of God one hundred twenty-five times. If you go look at BibleGateway.com, there is a huge page of entries for “Steadfast love.” Humans love, and love deeply, but no matter how much we want to have a love that is pure and true, we cannot hope to come close to the kind of “steadfast love” of the Lord.
Of course, there is the Song of Solomon– that beautiful example of Eastern poetry that is an amazing testament of the Lord’s love for us. I can’t appreciate the beauty of it as fully as I wish I could. I read it and am turned off by images of “teeth like sheep.” Sorry, sheep aren’t white… they’re actually quite dirty and fuzzy. Fuzzy teeth aren’t lovely to me. I know there is poetical imagery in that, but I don’t “get it.” I do, however, get the heart behind it. Somehow, some way, the Lord loves us enough to consider us a beloved bride. He could have chosen friendship– using the example of Jonathan and David– to compare His love and affection to us, but instead, He chose deeper human relationships. Bridegroom to bride.
There are so many people in the world who will feel unappreciated, unloved, and rejected tomorrow, but there is One who loves us beyond comprehension. One who can fill that longing for love that no human could ever replicate. He waits for us, and yet we turn to those who cannot help but fail us. That is so amazing.
Happy Valentine’s Day is so inadequate. Happy Lord’s Day to all.