Happy Valentine’s Day!

I know, I know, it’s the one holiday many love to hate. Some of us are still bearing the battle scars of horrific Valentine’s Days. Either you or your beloved was deployed or somehow separated by time and space. Or maybe your loved one was present and forgetful.

Many of us have a story to tell about just how awful that day was. But I still love it. The good, the bad, and the ugly, because it’s the only holiday that is covered in chocolate!

I can’t remember a time in my life when I did not love Jesus. Not because I was so holy, but rather because I was so desperate. I was desperate for a love that would never end. A love that I could cling to in ways that were life giving. I gave my heart to Jesus at the tender age of 5 and I didn’t want it back.

I am now 52 years and 9 months old and I wish I could tell you that my life has been a bed of roses and chocolate-covered strawberries, but it has not. It’s been a harsh life at times, and many days when I was certain that God had forgotten about me.

Yet, there is always this still small voice reminding me of a God who loves me lavishly and will never forsake me.

Although my circumstances have been overwhelming to my faint heart, they were never out of the sovereign hand of God. I am confident of this one thing because I believe every word of the Bible.

This life we live is harsh, crippling, and often more awkward than we can begin to understand and I am not sure why I am still surprised by it all. But then there is Jesus. Jesus and His incredible love that covers me. I get Jesus and His powerful mercy and His grace that never ever ends.

And I remember to embrace the love of a perfect God. I remember to love like Jesus and that changes me. “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a (ESV).

How do I love like Jesus? I love the unlovely. I forgive when bitterness would be the easier choice. I give until it hurts and look for nothing in return. But, most of all, I walk in obedience to the call of Christ. I remind myself that it is never about me and always about Jesus and building His kingdom on earth.

This brings me back to a place of humility.

Some days it’s a short trip and others are a bit of a longer journey. Because of my great love for Jesus I am able to choose righteousness through the power of the Holy Spirit. Making love my greatest gift to be given, “For the love of Christ controls us” 2 Corinthians 5:14a (ESV).

So, tomorrow, whether you choose to embrace Valentine’s Day with more gusto than some deem normal or totally ignore it altogether, remember the greatest lover of our souls, Jesus. Now that is a love that will not change, but will most certainly change us.

I encourage you to take another long look at the “Love Chapter” of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, and place your name where the word love is. Now, think about how Jesus may be calling you to walk out that love just for Him. No one else, just Jesus.

“How are we loving like Jesus?” is a daily question that requires an honest answer.

I am so grateful to Sarah for sharing her Worship Wednesday with me! Happy Valentine’s Day sweet friend! I love you like Jesus, but it almost doesn’t count because you are so easy to love!

In His grip!

Claudia Duff

P.S. Don’t get it twisted, my sisters! This girl is getting some chocolate and hopefully a sweet card from my beloved and red roses would be awesome too, *BIG, BIG HINT*