The month of February. The month of love! Well, actually, the stores started advertising way back in December. Even slashing prices the day after Christmas on the leftover holiday items to make room for all the Valentine’s merchandise.
When a Texas-based jewelry store emailed their Valentine’s catalog at the end of December, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the words on one of the photos.
How Do You Spell Love?
Honestly, not with the cute little XOXO charms seen in the photo at the top of this page.
How do you spell love? Without hesitation, my answer is G-O-D.
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
All those red, white and pink hearts we’ve been seeing since December would be meaningless if God hadn’t loved us first. So, way back at the first of January the decision was made on the title for my “month of love post.”
Had the title. Even the photo. But when I sat down at my computer I had nothing.
Apparently God and I weren’t on the same page. And writing a blog post about the love of God isn’t possible when it’s not God’s story.
Then came Friday morning, January 14. Exactly one month before Valentine’s Day.
A couple in our LifeGroup has a ministry designed to provide deserving young men with the opportunity to experience the love of Jesus Christ through a quality outdoor experience. Frustrated with my blank computer screen, I decided to check emails and saw brief bios of the boys who would be going to their ranch for the weekend, giving our LifeGroup the privilege of praying for each boy individually.
Praying for their encounter with the Lord as other men (their weekend guides) poured truth and love into their troubled, young lives.
The Holy Spirit has a way of placing a song in my heart to get my attention, and He did just that as I read the bios and prayed. Lyrics from “Hosanna” as recorded by Hillsong United (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoM0AT8fBvs) played softly in my mind.
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
In God’s constant pursuit of me, He often woos me with songs and Scripture, trying to show me what I fail to see with my blinded eyes and feel with my hardened heart.
I’m all in for You healing my heart and opening my eyes, Lord. And loving others like You have loved me is the goal of this sanctification process. But break my heart for what breaks Yours? Really, God?
God was trying to write a story about a broken heart? For the month of love?
I pondered the nudging of the Holy Spirit for several days. And during that time I also couldn’t get those boys out of my mind.
It felt as if God wanted my heart to ache for what those boys didn’t have. To ache so I could understand some of their pain. To hurt so much that I could humbly petition for those young lives to be filled with love, hope, joy, and encouragement, over the weekend and in the months to come. To ask for their hearts to be renewed as they receive the love of Christ and His free gift of salvation. To petition God for doors of opportunity to open, not only for the young men, but also their parents/guardians.
And I was still trying to write a blog post about how to spell love.
God was speaking to me about how to spell love all right. We were finally on the same page. This was God’s story after all.
Why did God orchestrate the receipt of those bios at the same time He put those lyrics in my heart?
That’s easy. He pursues me because He loves me. Desiring to remove my hardened heart and replace it with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).
A heart of flesh so I will love others as He has loved me (John 13:34).
Love so much that my heart breaks for the brokenhearted. Those going through trials and desperate for encouragement.
How to spell love? Can’t spell it without the One who loved us first.
Someday every knee will bow and every tongue confess…