February – the month of Love - candlelight dinners, romantic getaways, beautiful roses – all showing that Love is in the air! What an exciting time of year!
Thinking back on my own “romance” – My husband and I met in New Orleans in 1966 at our general conference. He actually liked my friend, but the next summer my parents and I went to Michigan camp and our friendship was renewed. We dated for several years, then both of us went to Bible School – He went south, I went north. That ended our relationship for a while. At general conference in St. Louis, MO in 1969, we saw each other again. He came up to me and asked if I had plans for that evening. I said, “No.” And in typical Mark Jordan style, He said, “Well now you do!” I had made a comment earlier in the year, that if I ever got Mark back again, I wouldn’t let him go! Well, I did get him back, and that began a 45-year journey of a relationship. And even when I do or say something that displeases him, he still loves me!
Remember the old song sung by Frank Sinatra? Love is a many splendored thing, it’s the April rose that only grows in the early spring. Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living, The golden crown that makes a man a king. Without love in our lives, there really would be no reason to live.
Reading the Bible through last year, I was again amazed at God’s love for the children of Israel. He told them He loved them with an everlasting love. They got so immersed in living with the heathen nations, that they forgot many times how important God’s love for them was. They served the Lord, then backslid until they got in trouble, but God would always come back to them and rescue them from their situations. What love God had for them – He chose them, loved them and kept forgiving them. Lamentations states it like this, “Our inheritance is turned to strangers, we are orphans and fatherless; Our necks are under persecution, we labor and have no rest; Servants have ruled over us: there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand; the joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.” But then they pleaded, “Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.” And because of His great love for them, He did exactly that. Zephaniah 3:17, 20 says, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; HE WILL SAVE, HE WILL REJOICE OVER THEE WITH JOY: HE WILL REST IN HIS LOVE, and He will joy over thee with singing.”
This is the promise He gave them, “At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.”
Over and over again, when His people cried out to God and repented, he turned back to them and rescued them. O, what a love! Love is the reason they are still a nation today.
As sinful and as hateful as we are, He still returns to us and loves us with an everlasting love that will never end. Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Another song says, “He’s the only reason I live, but oh what a reason!” Thank you Lord for dying on the cross so that we might experience your love! It might not be romantic dinners and roses, but it is eternal love that will take us to glory to live with Him!