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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is a hard day for many. Like other holidays there's the expectation that everything has to be "just so" or "perfect" for it to be "good."

But today I want to focus on something that's supposedly the meaning of this holiday, but is often not.

Love.

Unfailing love to be more precise.

And to do that I went back in time a little to blogs I'd written years ago because the topic of love is never really far from our minds, is it? It certainly shows up in most of my posts. And I think if we're honest, we're all longing for total, complete, perfect love that will make everything better.

So where do we find it?

First we have to get honest about what's really going on in our hearts. And then second, we need to know where to look for our heart’s desire.

Here's a clip from two years ago. While my circumstances have changed~ praise God! ~ some of the struggles still visit me with regularity. This is one of them...

“I remembered my Bible study last night on unfailing love and it hit me that I'm feeling numb inside because I shut myself down.

Because I'm so tired of my own failure and the hurt from other people failing me.

I'm even a little angry with God for not answering prayers and changing things I've begged Him to change for a long while now. There’s that forcing God to prove He loves me.

I didn’t realize it, but I was saying in effect…

Heal my body and I’ll believe You love me.

Heal my marriage and I’ll believe You love me.

Give me a book contract and I’ll believe You love me.

God says simply, “I love you with an unfailing love.”

Period.

No conditions.

Just the Cross.

And His Word.

Proverbs 19:22 “What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.”

Proverbs 20:6 “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?”

Every human alive longs for, desires, and is so hungry to have unfailing love that we'll do anything just to get a taste. Even numb out as a way to deny the pain when this need feels unfulfilled.

But only God is capable of unfailing love. In fact the Biblical words for unfailing/ agape love ONLY refer to God. We humans can't muster or get "holy" enough to love that way. And no human can love us that way all the time. We all fail. We fail to love and be loved well.

But God doesn't. He loves anyway. No matter the sin. No matter the anger. No matter the deadness inside. No matter what I perceive as unanswered prayers.

Those “unanswered prayers” are one way God got my attention to see that the fight I’m to fight isn’t about forcing Him to prove He loves me. Or to get others to love me the way I want to be loved.

It’s the fight of faith that counts. The fight to believe the truth. And walk in it.

The fight that runs to God believing that God and God alone is the only one capable of unfailing love.

We either fight the fight of faith and keep fighting or we try to deaden our hearts a little more every day. If we fight, there will be times of rest, times of healing, and- ultimately... finally...in God's perfect time - complete rest, healing, and peace.

But if we give up and deaden our hearts, what is there? No hope. No possibility of joy. Nothing. That's where the enemy wants us to stay. Because he knows who we were created to be and he fears us.

Love and joy and faith are painful. No two ways about that. But inner deadness isn't really death. It's self-protection. And it doesn’t work.

I’m reminded that self-protectiveness is a sin because it's denying God's rightful place in my life. He's my Protector and Comforter. He's Daddy and Mommy; Strength and Peace. He's everything I need. And it’s God, and God alone, that loves me with unfailing love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud. God is not rude, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.”

Jeremiah 31:3 "I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

Period.

Exclamation mark!

Unfailing love.

Not only is God’s love exactly what I need… it’s what I want, what I desire too.”

It’s hard to go back and read those words and be reminded that God has spoken so clearly so many times in my life. And still I fail.

And still He forgives.

All the while opening His arms wide and inviting me to receive the unconditional love I long for. Love that is mine. Love that is yours. All the time. Always.

Paul calls it the most excellent way~ LOVE.

1 Corinthians 13~ All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. There are three things that will endure--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

May you experience today the truth that you are LOVED totally, completely, and perfectly by a holy God who is never disappointed in you and who smiles at each and every thought of you!!!

3 comments:

Sally said...

Amy, Thank you for the great reminder!! Isn't it awesome to go back to that time and see that even though he didn't have to God DID give you a book contract (actually at least three, right?) and he has, to a great extent, healed your marriage?? And we will keep hoping and praying for a complete healing of your body, although even Paul had his thorn in the flesh that he had to endure...I'm going to keep praying for God to take yours away anyhow!! You are an awesome example of a great woman of God and I'm proud to say I know you!!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Love,
Sally

amyanne said...

Amy

Hi, I'm trying to track down your email address. I seem to have misplaced it. I wanted to send you some info about the blog tour for Tricia Goyer.

Thanks,
Amy
amy@triciagoyer.com

Amy Wallace said...

Sally,

Your words blow me away! Thank you. I'm so glad you know me and love me anyway, my friend. (Grins)

Yes, it was good to go back and see what God has done. Even better to share that memory walk with friends who know first hand what it was like back then. :-)

God has healed my marriage and given me a dream come true 3-book contract. And while none of that happened or turned out like I expected, I do know God is good and He has done great things for me.

As for the health stuff... thank you for the prayers! I need them!

Much love,
Amy

 
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