Chronicles of a Saint
It’s all about love
Every year on 14th February, the whole world unites in celebrating Valentine’s Day. It is a practice that has been highly regarded over the centuries. Lovebirds take time to exchange flowers, lavish gifts upon one another, all with an aim of expressing love. Whether Christians should celebrate the day or not is a topic for another day. Yet as I was doing my rounds through social media, this particular set of words written by a young man to his lover caught my attention. This is how they read:
‘’I was thinking about our recent conversations over the past one week. Love has been the subject of our little talks. And I must admit that it has greatly rejuvenated my heart. Just by the virtue of you telling me how much I mean to you, how much you need me, how much you love me, strikes the deepest chord within. My troubled heart weighed down by work pressures is quietened and lightened. Especially when you use that sweet feminine voice of yours, I remain speechless.’’
I could just not help but marvel at this spectacle as I imagined what human love can do to us. Interestingly though is the fact that I am not the first one to marvel at this subject. The wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon, had this to say, ‘’Three things are too wonderful for me, four that I can’t figure out: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on the rock, the way of a ship out on the open sea, and the way of a man with a young woman.’’1 How human connection is formed, how love grows that endears two previously unacquainted persons is just a mystery. And those who have experienced this can testify.
But pause and think of it for a moment; what about divine love? Does it cause us to act like we do when it comes to early affiliations? Do we miss God? Does a thought about Him rejuvenate our hearts? Does the long distance between us and God hurt? Does His love message as expressed in His word strike the deepest chord within? Does it quieten, lighten and brighten our sin-sick souls? Do we desire to be with Him in glory where we’ll forever have an unlimited gaze on His face and unconditionally touch His hands? This set of rhetorical questions is ours for consideration.
Sad though is the fact that many have run to the secular world of entertainment in search for love messages to thrill their hearts. To them, it is the only fount through which their thirsty souls can be quenched. Could it be true, that for us to find love and know it in its verity, we must turn to other humans? I believe not. Such avenues only debase such a holy principle called love, limiting it within the confines of an exchange of expressions pregnant with lust. Those who do so are simply ignorant. They do not know that the clearest expression of any principle is best seen in its author. If we need to understand what love is and how it should be expressed, we first need to query who the originator is.
Where did love come from? Is it an isolated principle or does it find an embodiment in someone’s life? The Bible gives a definite answer: ‘’God is love.’’2 Love is not something God does. It is the very nature of who He is. Even the Trinity is united by divine love. And when was it best revealed by God? First, when man was created in the image of God. Unfortunately, man sinned and degraded his God given nature. Yet, though at liberty to allow humans reap the fruits of their disobedience, God revealed His true self: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.’’3 Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. 4 We can only learn to love like God as we contemplate on how He has always loved us. It has been said: This is how we know true love; Jesus gave us life for others.
What a loving God we have! He came down to us when we were incapacitated, when we had no desire for Him. Even when rejected by the men He came to save, He harbored no hard feelings. Even though facing such excruciating pain while on the cross, His thoughts were not upon Himself but on them He had come to save. ‘’Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,’’ was the utterance of His mouth. Ellen White’s quote sums it up all well: ‘’Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.” 5
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? 6 Unlike divine love, human affection is fleeting and its chords can easily be unfettered. Though tender it may appear, it cannot forebear for long. Consider the most intimate bond on earth, the mother-child connection. Yet of it the Holy Writ records, ‘’Can a woman forget her nursing child, fail to pity the child of her womb? Even these may forget, but I won’t forget you. Look, on my palms I’ve inscribed you; your walls are before me continually.’’ 7
But God even the Creator declares to us: “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!’’ 8 And since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me? 9
My prayer is that as we celebrate our human relationships as is sanctioned by God’s word, let it not obscure its intent. Which is? To act as a miniature in demonstrating God’s love to erring humanity. After all, this is how we show true love: we should give our lives for others. Ultimately, when all is said and done, it is definitely all about love.
1 Proverbs 30:18-19 CEB
2 1st John 4:8 GNT
3 John 3:16 MSG
4 Romans 5:6-8 MSG
5 Ellen White, Desire of Ages, pg.25
6 Romans 8:31-32 MSG
7 Isaiah 49:15-16 CEB
8 Jeremiah 31:3 MSG
9 Hebrews 13:5-6 MSG