Inevitably, every time February forces itself upon my calendar I see the evidence of its mark – in commercials, in the commissary, in Walmart.
Red hearts…heart balloons, heart candy, heart clad teddy bears that are bigger than my eleven-year-old.
They are simply everywhere I look.
February is the month that celebrates – or at least institutionalizes and commercializes – LOVE. Every store I walk into has put in an enormous effort to appeal to the customer with an urgency…
“Show that special person just how much you care!”
And every single year, I feel the pull to live up to this standard – to somehow “buy” to the extent of my love. Just how much do you purchase to be able to honestly say that you captured the sentiment? I mean, really. It’s kinda silly when you say that out loud, but it’s true. And an even more important question than that reverberates in my heart: How did He show His Love to us?
This year I confess I am seeing love through a different lens. This year, though the expression of love in my life has been rich and it has been beautiful, particularly from those I cherish most deeply, it has also been largely raw and crystal clear in ways it never has before.
Watching my mother walk through cancer with her heart fixed upon Him who gave her strength when she had none to draw upon herself…and He gave it to her. Every time.
THIS is a grand and extravagant love.
Watching my father give and give and give of himself to her – driving her to and from treatments and appointments and never once complaining. Not once. His tenderness and sweet spirit as he walked faithfully beside her. They celebrated 49 nine years of marriage this past December.
THIS is a grand and faithful love.
This kind of love was Jesus’s kind of love. It was the kind of love He talked about, but also the kind of love He lived.
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV
Love that doesn’t give up. Love that gives and gives and gives. Love that fights for us, reaches out and pursues us, sacrifices for us… love that died for us.
THIS is a grand and fierce love.
Yes, this Valentine’s Day, I feel a special tethering to the heart of the One who gave it all. I have seen His great love show up in the radiation clinic, in the waiting room, in my homeschool room. I have felt His love upon my heart when I lay my head down at night and when I rise in the morning. I know and I have seen His persistent, extravagant, fierce, and wholly grand love…and I am overwhelmed.
THIS is the kind of love that He gave and gives us still.
His love is fierce and He is fierce for our hearts and for our lives. This grand and extravagant love is wider, deeper, higher, and longer than we can imagine. Just let that sink in a bit.
Matter of fact, “Fierce” is the name of the song I want to share with you today. It is from Jesus Culture and their album entitled, Let It Echo. The lyrics caught my attention from the first time I heard it – describing God’s love as all-encompassing, all-pursuing, all-surrounding. I totally agree. It is. His love is a “tidal wave and hurricane” force kind of love. Yup. Fierce. Great word. Great song. Enjoy.
With joy for the journey,
Sarah’s heart and passion is to connect worshipers around the globe, with all their gifts and talents, and come before the Throne of God…together. She is a proud Army Chaplain’s wife and homeschool mom of 3 full-throttle kiddos. She and her beloved husband, Jeff, have been married for 21 years.