Today I saw this posted on Facebook: “The sweetest time of the day is when you pray because you’re talking to the one who loves you the most.” Valentine’s Day is a good time to reflect on God’s love for us. We all crave to be loved. Sometimes we need to know we are loved more than at other times—like when we’re lonely, sad, afraid, or guilty. We can never say, “No one loves me,” because God loves us… and with a strong, everlasting love. We might say a crazy, passionate love.
It takes faith to believe that God loves us. After all, how could the omniscient, omnipotent One care for us weak, finite mortals, especially when we disappoint him so many times? Yet, God proves his love over and over. He doesn’t need to give us a box of chocolates and flowers. How does God love you? Let us count a few ways…
- God chose to create you. He really didn’t have to. You could have forever been an unrealized possibility. But God lovingly did call you into being. You have the privilege of being God’s beloved child. Think of this whenever you pray “Our Father.” What do you especially enjoy about being alive: dancing, running, swimming, reading book, talking with friends, having children or grandchildren?
2. God blessed you with certain gifts, physical attributes, talents, circumstances. What personal gifts are you grateful for: a lovely singing voice, a nice nose, a loving family?
3. God designed a beautiful Earth for you to call home—this blue jewel in the heavens filled with a variety of flowers, trees, and creatures that walk, slither, swim or fly. Your world is so awesome that we are still uncovering its wonders. What is your favorite place: a seashore, a forest, your backyard?
4. When you need help, God is there for you. Jesus promised, “Ask and it will be given you” (Luke 11:9). Of course, this doesn’t apply to requests that God knows will be harmful or not fit in his all-wise plan. When has God answered one of your prayers, perhaps in an amazing, unexpected way? When has God given you strength to accomplish something you never thought you’d do?
5. God communicates with you in Scripture. Once when theologian Karl Barth was asked to summarize his life’s work, he replied, “Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Repeatedly in Scripture God declares and demonstrates his love for you. He says things like, “You are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4). Which of God’s “love notes” to you do you cherish?
6. God sprinkles your life with little love-gifts. You connect with a lost relative, a book falls open to the information you were searching for, you barely miss a car accident. Some people see these are mere coincidences, but others with the eyes of faith view them as occasions when God winks at us. When has God surprised you with this kind of gift?
7. God’s love is constant. Nothing you ever do will destroy his love for you. You can lie, cheat, give in to addictions, be jealous. You name it. God will not jilt you no matter how unfaithful and unloving you are to him. “Forgiveness” is his middle name. When have you experienced God’s tender mercy?
8. God did the most incredible thing because he loves you: Almighty God became a frail human being, suffered torture, and died a humiliating and painful death. Why? Because God longs to be with you forever. Giving up one’s life for someone is the greatest proof of love. God died for you! How are you living for God?
On Valentine’s Day hearts abound because they are a symbol of love. For good reason, Jesus promoted devotion to his Sacred Heart. While we are caught in the turmoil of a pandemic, assaults on our democracy, and a threatened planet, we can still say, “Jesus, I trust in you.” His love for us prevails. He is definitely a sweetheart like none other.
Hope you enjoy this unusual peaceful rendition of a hymn about God’s infinite love: