I could write about the Valentine’s Day when Jeff got me a muffler for my car, or how our exciting plans tonight include possibly attending a high school indoor track meet (how romantic!) or how all of my pajama pants for at least 10 years had hearts on them because my mom always bought me some for V-day and I racked up quite a collection. But there’s a love greater than parent & child, husband & wife, me & vanilla chai.
For I am convinced that
neither death nor life
neither angels nor demons
neither the present nor the future
nor any powers
neither height nor depth
nor anything else in all creation
will be able to separate us from the LOVE of GOD that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Nothing. Not your death or the death of a loved one. Not the concerns of today or your worries about the future. Not your singleness or your marriage. Not your parenting. Not your sins, not your fears, not your desires, not your selfishness, not your faithlessness. Nothing. Nothing can separate you from God’s love for you through Jesus Christ.
God’s love is so strong for you that He sacrificed His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and pay the penalty for all of our sins so that we can have a relationship with God. The only thing we need to do is accept such an incredible gift. “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Say it and believe it.
No matter what your relationship status, today and everyday you can celebrate the incredible, unfailing love of God for you. A love that never runs out. A love that gives better gifts than mufflers.
“Sometimes the greatest gift we can receive isn’t just healing, but the power to endure.”
I just heard this on the radio as they talk with Craig DeMartino, a rock climber who fell 100 feet and is miraculously alive (Check out his book to read more of his story).
There’s been a lot of heartache lately both locally and in national news. A man who took his own life leaving a wife and son, the sudden passing of our friend Heidi, Rick Warren’s son who committed suicide, and now the horror in Boston.
Survivors wondering why they’re alive
Amidst it all people wonder Where is God? And all of a sudden, trying to answer this question, I feel totally incapable. Here’s what God says:
The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before even one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16 (Read what I wrote about God’s timing in our lives)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:35,37
Last weekend I had an Arbonne Spa Party at my house. [If you’re unfamiliar with Arbonne they have great all natural skin care products. My favorite are the lotions. Order products or host your own spa party through my sister Cathy]
As the party ended I was handing out cupcakes, cookies, and cake for people to take home since they hadn’t eaten enough during the party. I was packing some angel food cake for my cousin (who shall remain nameless to protect her identity) and I asked her if she wanted some chocolate chip cookies too.
“That’s ok. I already stashed some in my purse,” she whispered. The few of us who were there started laughing.
“You didn’t have to secretly stash them in your purse,” I said through my laughter. “I’m happy to share them with you!” I threw a few more cookies in the bag so she could share with her husband.
Have you ever done that? Really loved something that you just had to take some home? You could ask the host, but what if they say no? Then if you stashed some in your purse you’d really feel guilty. But if you didn’t ask and took a few then it’s like taking your share at the party but saving them for later.
I mostly thought this was hilarious and didn’t want Kri… uh I mean my “nameless cousin,” to get away without people hearing the story. But here’s a spiritual parallel:
You don’t have to be afraid to ask Jesus. He says ask and you will receive. He says, if you lack wisdom ask for it and He will give it to you. Just like a parent loves their children and will give them what they want. Or like I love my cousin and will give her my cookies. Except Jesus’s love for us is so much BIGGER.
“And I pray that you… may have power… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 3:17-18
Babies have this reflex where they throw their arms out if they think they’re falling. The funny thing is, they aren’t falling. Jack does this all the time. And it’s hilarious.
Jack loves his changing tables – any changing table for that matter. But it seems to be the place most often where he thinks he’s falling. I wish I could capture it in a picture or video but I never know when it’s coming. Sometimes he just throws his arms to the side, trying to catch himself (from no danger). Sometimes his legs go out too so his body makes an X or a starfish. I laugh a little and reassure him. “Jack you aren’t falling. I wouldn’t let anything happen to you.”
Then it hit me: how many times do I do the same thing? How often do I “freak out” over nothing? Worry about things that won’t happen?
And God looks at me, laughs a little, and says “Debbie don’t worry. I’m with you and I won’t ever leave you. Give Me your burdens and I’ll give you rest.”