A small flame

A small flame

Happy Heart Day

Happy Valentine's Day. Today the 'whole world' (well, at least our little corner of it) thinks about 'love'.

I've been thinking about love a lot lately. Not just my love for my wonderful husband or my crazy boys, but God's love for me and my love for him. You see, I've realized that our love relationship is the only thing that truly, consistently motivates me to walk away from temptation. That doesn't mean I'm never motivated by anything else, but in the thick of the war there's not a lot that makes me walk away victorious. 'They' (whoever they are) say that 'nothing tastes as good as thin feels', but that's just not true. Not for me, anyway. And in that moment when I'm tired and frustrated and just want to take care of myself, throw myself a little party in my mouth, 'thin' doesn't mean anything. Can you relate?

But if I can remember in those moments that I am loved, it changes everything. My day might have been the stinkiest on record, I may be frustrated enough to tug out my hair in great tufts, and everything in me may be screaming for the dubious 'rest' that comes from sinking into the comfort of food-with-abandon. . . but I am loved.

Extravagantly. Deeply. Perfectly. Unconditionally. Loved.

His love for me and my, albeit deeply-flawed, love for Him is the only thing that draws me away from food's siren call. Because I understand now that I'm not making the choice between thin and food. Not really. I'm actually choosing between food and Him. Lover of my soul. And absolutely nothing tastes as good as fellowship with him.

We love because he first loved us. -1 John 4:19

I've been thinking specifically about what a blessing it is that God loved me first. Seems to me that the joy & freedom I feel these days flows out of that fact. He loves me. And my love for him is a direct response to that love. If He hadn't loved me first, I'd be hopeless!

I also find great security in the thought that God loved me first. His 'first' love for me means that He loved me when I was:

a sinner
his enemy
(Romans 5, Ephesians 2)

He chose to set his love on me when I was at my most unlovely! Now, I still have some pretty unlovable days, but I will never again be spiritually dead or his enemy! And, if he chose to love me when I was still his enemy, how much more sure is His love for me now that I am his child! I didn't earn His love, and it's not possible to un-earn it either! Come unlovely days or sinful choices, He just keeps on loving me the way he always has. The way he always will.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? . . . I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:35, 38, 39

Feelin' unlovely and unloved lately?
He loves you.
Always has.
Always will.

I'm reading this book right now & it's excellent.
If you haven't read it yet, I'd love if you would!Link

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