As Valentine’s Day approaches, I am reminded of how much stress a day, that was created to honor love, can also make people crazy as they feel pressured to celebrate it appropriately. It doesn’t matter if you are married, dating or single – it all sometimes makes us wish the day passed by quickly. I have known my husband for over 25 years and I, frankly, ran out of good ideas beyond dinner a while ago. And when did dinner reservations get so hard to make? While it is great to lift up our relationships on Valentine’s Day I believe, to keep them enduring, it should be something we do every day!
I am so glad that we have a Lord that loves us in a way that we don’t have to feel pressured to perform or create the perfect date or event. The Bible tells us in John 15:13:
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Or, as Romans 5:8 says:
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We were imperfect and still finding ourselves and Jesus died for us to give us life. No reservations needed. Just a simple “Yes, Lord” and a new life begins. No stress or pressure at all.
Silence the Haters. Song of Solomon 4:7 says “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you”. It bears repeating “there is no flaw in you”. No matter where you are in life “there is no flaw in you”. No matter what others say about you “there is no flaw in you”. That is how God sees you – “there is no flaw in you”. God meets you right where you are and can (and will) do wondrous things!
When I hear this phrase it gives me a wonderful sense of peace – not just because it reiterates the promises of God on how He loves us through our hurts but also what that little word in the middle represents to all of us who go through life’s challenges. That little word ‘but’. That little, three letter word represents so much because it negates whatever was said right before it.
The words after ‘but’ have the power. So – we may be feel broken BUT the power is in the blessings on my life. We may feel unloved BUT God rejoices in our existence. We may feel alone BUT God said He would never leave or forsake us. Believe in the ‘But’ power of God to turn your brokenness into blessings!
What do you do when extreme change visits your existence? I’m not talking about the unexpected change of schedules or even a goal that you have set being sidelined (well maybe that could apply but it depends). I am talking about those things that redefine your future – slowly or in an instant. They can leave you helpless and wondering – what do I next? I have come to understand that it is during these times God asks you to look to Him. The Bible tells us all the time that life is going to be filled with U-turns, sideswipes, and breakdowns. Stuff is going to happen. But He also reminds us that we can weather extreme change because our identity is not rooted in the thing that changed but in His plan for our lives. Don’t get me wrong…I cried like a baby when the two big changes I mention in my book came into my life but I count myself a survivor – not because of me but because God reminded me throughout ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5).
It is a promise God offers to all of us – Believe it!
From my book, “What Just Happened? Living the Redeemed Life (When All Hell Breaks Loose)” – Give your pain, worry, hurt and hope to the Lord. God is your safe place – always. We spend too much time ‘out in the wilderness’ trying to figure out what to do with our pain and hurt. He is our safe place. To hold us, to love us and to guide us. You can trust God with your uncertainty and disappointment. He loves you.
1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) says “ Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” What a wonderful promise!
Yes, it is true…You are Rejoiced. You are loved by God in a way that there are no words to describe. God knows you from the inside out. He doesn’t judge or mislead – He just loves. That is the foundation of this site – to remind you that you are not alone in this world. God knew you before you were born and your identity is fully integrated with how He sees you and His purpose for your life. You are Redeemed!