“Encouraging Words Today” February 14, 2012
LOOKING FOR LOVE…
by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Jesus, the Lover of my Soul. Because God in the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is Love, then He cannot deny His very nature. I sometimes feel like shouting (not unlike Sally Field’s at the Academy Awards) “You LOVE me! You really LOVE me!”
Jesus is the revelation of God’s unending, unconditional love for us: “Everything that Jesus has done, said, and undergone is meant to show us that the love we most long for is given to us by God — not because we’ve deserved it, but because God is a God of love … Jesus is God’s most radical attempt to convince us that everything we long for is indeed given us. What God asks of us is to have faith in that love. When Jesus talks about faith, he means first of all to trust unreservedly that you are loved by God.” (Henri Nouwen)
February is Love Month. Yes, I know there is lots of hype and commercialism surrounding roses and romance and Valentine’s cards. But we can get handle that, can’t we? Either embrace it with a healthy balance or ignore it altogether. I know that when I was ‘still single’ in my thirties I memorized Psalm 73.25-26 and repeated it nonstop every day in February to remind myself that even if I didn’t have a ‘valentine’ I did have Someone who truly loved me…
“Whom have I in heaven but You?
And earth has nothing I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.”
In my book “God’s Purpose for You” I talk about how important it is to know that God loves us unconditionally. And I included this wonderful Love Letter from God based entirely on biblical promises which I hope you will read today as though it was written Just For You!
Before the beginning of time, I knew you. I knew what color your eyes would be, and I could hear the sound of your laughter. Like a proud father who carries a picture of His daughter, I carried the image of you in My eyes, for you were created in My image. Before the beginning of time, I chose you. I spoke your name into the heavens and I smiled as its melody resounded off the walls of My heart.
You are Mine. My love for you extends farther than the stars in the sky and deeper than any ocean. You are My pearl of great price, the one for whom I gave everything. I cradle you in the palm of My hand. I love you even in the face of your failure. Nothing you can say or do can cause Me to stop loving you. I am ruthless in My pursuit of you. Run from Me — I will love you. Spurn Me — I will love you. Reject yourself — I will love you. You see, My love for you was slain before the foundations of the world and I have never regretted the sacrifice I made for you at Calvary.
When I see every part of who You are, I marvel at the work of My hands, for I whispered words of longing and desire and you came into existence. You are beautiful, and I take pleasure in you — heart, mind, and body. You are my desire. When you turn your head in shame and despise what I have made, still I reach for you with gentle passion. You are My beloved and I am yours.
Love, Your Heavenly Father
(based on I John 3:2, Isaiah 43:1, Matthew 13:46, Ephesians 1:4, Revelation 13:8 and other scripture) from Regina Franklin, Who Calls Me Beautiful? (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 2004), pp.44-45.
This Valentine’s Day I am also rejoicing with both of my daughters who were recently engaged to be married. Imagine two brides in one year! Truly my cup runneth over with joy and celebration and only the occasional panic attack at all that needs to happen between ‘now’ and ‘then’… Surely God answered my prayers through the years for just the right man to love each of these unique and gifted young women and partner with them through life’s journey. Just as he answered my prayers for the love of my own life for the past 28 years – Mike McDowell!
So today, if you have earthly love, thank God for that amazing gift. But even if you don’t have that ‘special someone’ right now, know deep in your heart that you are loved and cherished by the Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe. Truly He is the Lover of our Souls.
under the mercy, Cindy
©2012 Lucinda Secrest McDowell