It’s life’s most precious "commodity" — something we all need and want.
And, this week more money will be spent trying to show it than at any other time of the year.
What is it?
Yes, this week we celebrate Valentine’s Day and will spend lots of money on everything ranging from cards to candy to flowers to jewelry to eating out, etc. It’s estimated that our nation will spend over $13 billion this year alone. Unbelievable!
Why is this?
Simply because — at least once a year — we want to express our love in a tangible way. How wonderful it’d be if we did that every other day of the year!
Although it began as a religious, liturgical celebration of various Christian saints named Valentine or Valentinus in 496 A.D., by the early 18th century in Great Britain it’d become a time for exchanging small tokens or handwritten notes of affection between friends. Historians record this also occurred in America during the same time, with the first mass-produced Valentine’s cards being sold by Esther Howland in 1840.
Since that time, our celebration of this day — often viewed as a special day for sweetheart or lovers — has grown. Even now I remember my years in elementary school when we’d buy a box of flimsy, paper valentines and give them to our classmates, along with a box of those small, different-colored, candy valentines with a special message on them. I’d always save the best Valentine for that "special one" in our class and laugh giddily as I received one from her, eagerly searching for those words "I love you" above her signature.
Puppy love, for sure.
By our teenage years we were more sophisticated in our expressions, often buying some chocolate candy in a beautiful heart-shaped box. During our dating years, we’d even buy that girl-of-our-dreams a corsage and/or go out to eat with some other "couples."
But soon all of our times of falling-in-and-out-of love gave way to "grown-up" love. We began more serious dating, wondering if this-or-that person was the "one" — someone we’d want to spend the rest of our lives with. And, hopefully, if you married, you chose wisely and are experiencing love at a deeper level, particularly if God has blessed you with children.
Regardless, when it comes to love, we all need to feel loved and have someone to love. Life would be so lonely and virtually unbearable if we felt there was no one who loved us or vice versa.
Think about it:
Children need to know their parents love them. Parents need to know their children love them. Spouses need to know their mate loves them, passionately and unconditionally. And, even if we try to show our love the best we know how, we still fall short—both in giving and receiving.
That’s why we need help: God’s help.
He’s the only One Who truly loves us unconditionally … just as we are … overlooking our faults and seeing our needs. He knows we need help in moving from a self-centered life to a self-giving one.
That’s why He sent Jesus into this world to show us what True Love is all about. Truly, Jesus was/is the Supreme Example and Expression of God’s Love. And, as we yield to His tender embrace we experience what we’ve been needing and wanting all along.
Here’s hoping you know the Father’s Love firsthand. If so, rejoice; if not, do not rest until you do. Only then will you know that Calvary was really God’s first Valentine Day here on earth and Jesus was His Present to you sent special delivery all the way from Heaven. God bless you.
To contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled "Morning Manna," write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.