I will thank the Lord with all my heart;
I will declare all Your wonderful works.
I will rejoice and boast about You;
I will sing about Your name, Most High.
Today marks Valentine's Day. According to the Greeting Card association an estimated 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are sent each year making the holiday the second largest card sending holiday next to Christmas at 2.6 billion cards per year. Approximately 85% of cards are purchased by women according to the same association.
My point with the facts about the popularity of Valentine's Day is that for those that in celebration for the day that as a society it can be one of those days that equate to when you are having company coming over. You know what I mean. You clean the house more. You hide your dirty laundry. You clean the toilets. You make sure you clean the kitchen, the dishes, etc. Your company arrives. You have fun. They leave. You go back to letting it go just a little until the next time a visit is set to occur.
We can not just wait for "special days" like Valentine's Day, anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, and Easter.
My point is that when we get in a rut, love can become the same way.
Love for our spouses -
Love for our kids -
Love for our friends -
Love for our fellow man -
Love for our God -
When we do not make a conscious effort to display and speak our love daily, we invite ourselves into the rut. We create a situation or situations where we begin to not appreciate the gifts that God has given to us. We take them for granted. The longer it happens, the more we get used to it. And ultimately:
We Lose It!!
And once it is lost, it is so hard to get back. I have had the misfortune to have lost many, many relationships throughout my life. ALL of them were my fault. I could have demonstrated a greater appreciation for the people around me. I didn't.
In later years, I tried to repair some of those relationships. It didn't work with most of them. It will be my burden to bear for the rest of my life, at least for those relationships. The ones I have now I cherish. Oh God, how I cherish them. God has brought me back from the great abyss. The land where nothing else matters. And each day, I give thanks.
Many times we cross paths with others who are in the same boat. We cross paths with someone whose lives could be changed by a simple word of kindness. If we shared what God has done in our lives. If we shared how much love we have to give that was given to us through such a great cost.
The Bible has 393 versus that talk about or have the word love in them. I have listened to many people say that the Bible is a book of rules and nothing more. I have listened to people say that the Bible is fake. I have listened to people say that it is all a fantasy or some great hoax that has lasted through the ages. I believe the Bible is a love story. A love story that tells of a Father's love for His children. A love story that tells of redemption for the lost who can return to the Father at any point. All you have to do is accept His love for you.
I want to leave you with one of my favorite books and series of verses in the Bible. I hope that they give you strength and peace. But even more than that, I hope that they show you the love that you seek and that you may take that love and in turn share it with others.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Many blessings to each of you this day. God loves you and so do I.
To my beautiful wife, I love you more than words can say. I thank God for you.