Valentine’s Day is coming up this week.
Social media is going to be flooded with sweet-nothings and public declarations of love and appreciation. It’s easy, if you’re single, to feel like you’re missing something.
For some I imagine it’s like a “weak” spot that’s sharply pressed on each year in February.
While thinking about love in general, I came across an article I read about weakness and lack. I learnt that great love is found in the places where grace is most needed. Our weaknesses and inadequacies – these are also areas in our lives where we might receive God’s love.
“And when God gave me my weaknesses, which are legion, his purpose wasn’t to make me ashamed and discouraged. He gave them to me so I could have the astounding privilege of humbly receiving someone else’s love as they graciously serve me in a place of my need, and then joyfully responding to them with grateful love in return.”
Following Bloom’s logic, I see how God has loved me in my weaknesses. For instance, I’m not good with numbers and calculations, so God sent people to help me with mathematical matters. I can’t sing very well, so God sent people to sing alongside me during worship – I can still be part of a beautiful chorus of praise.
I am a passive person, so God sent friends that would challenge me to leave my comfort zones. I am prideful and stubborn at times, so God allows for circumstances and people to mould and refine my character. The list goes on, but you get it.
Think about Paul’s “thorn” in 2 Corinthians 12. We might not be able to agree on what exactly the “thorn” was, but we know Paul asked God to take it away because it was troubling him.
Yet instead of simply answering that prayer and removing the thorn, God said to him: “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
What a response. Hearing God’s comforting promise, Paul declares that he will boast in his weaknesses – so that “Christ’s power may rest on [him].”
Paul knew that though his weaknesses were plenty, God’s love and grace were of greater measure. We are loved relentlessly by an infinite God!
If you’re someone who’s written off Valentine’s Day as a cultural construct, treating it like it’s something beneath you … I just want you to try and understand that there are people who struggle on days like this.
Ask the Lord to reveal what troubles you in your secret heart. It’s alright – and good even – to thrash out the things that stumble us.
So don’t laugh. There are people who feel unloved every 14th of February, and these words were meant to minister to them.
Sweet friend, lay aside the inadequacies you feel. Tell the Lord, your Friend, what burdens your heart. Then look up and be encouraged. You are not alone – You are dearly and deeply loved.
In the hour of your greatest need, Christ stood up to meet it. He first loved us.
He first loved you.