With today being Valentine’s day, a lot of us are naturally thinking about love. It’s tossed towards us through commercials and greeting cards, mushy love songs and that cubicle neighbor getting a flower delivery.
We see images of an idealized love thrown at us from every angle on Valentine’s day. And I think, to some degree, we all have that craving for love, to be wooed or romanced on Valentine’s day. Going to a Christian college, there were some girls (while they were hardly the majority, of course) who were devastated if they didn’t get a proposal from the boy they met at the fall back to school events by V-Day. There’s this underlying promise in the air– every kiss begins with Kay, he went to Jared, your friends in the diamond business, all of those slogans give you this fluttery feeling that love is represented by gifts.
And yes, some people do express their love through giving gifts. Gary Chapman talks about giving and receiving gifts as being one of the five love languages in his book, The Five Love Languages. However, I must insist that Valentine’s Day? Well, it really IS just a trick of the greeting card industry.
I’m not saying that to be Anti-Valentine’s Day. On the contrary– I love V-Day. I love getting swept up in the pinks and reds and, duh, the chocolate. And, even when I am flying solo on Valentine’s Day, I love being able to share my love with the people I love, like my son or other family. I love that we have a whole day to celebrate LOVE.
But honestly… how many of us, on Valentine’s Day, consider the fact that love is way more than chocolate and greeting cards and fresh flowers and glittery diamonds? How many of us stop to think about what Love… L-o-v-e with a capital L… really means, what it’s truly all about? Or are we just all caught up in the kissy-faced commercials and crooning of love songs to notice that love is about so much more?
You see, the love that we know, the love we express to others, it’s amazing. But it’s conditional. We place conditions and limits on our love. If we didn’t, parents wouldn’t stop speaking to their kids, kids wouldn’t run away from home, relationships wouldn’t split, and boys wouldn’t have cooties. But, in a broken world, we see those things on a regular basis. It’s all over the news, when heartbreak goes wrong and people get hurt– emotionally, or even physically.
We don’t mean to put limits on our love, but there is always this innate sense that we can only take so much before we just… can’t.
God doesn’t work like that. His love, it’s unconditional. It means that no matter what you do, God loves you. He may not like or support your behavior, and He will still recognize your sins, but God gave the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus dying on the cross, because God loves us so unconditionally, so completely, so wholly, that he wanted to make sure that even WE couldn’t keep ourselves apart from God unless we willingly chose to.
God gave us this blanket that covers our sins, that says we can overcome that– he rescues us from our own flaws, our own acts of defiance, and gives us this love that is without fail and is unending. And he doesn’t want us to choose to be separate from him. He wants us to choose to be with him, to choose a life spent serving him, worshiping him, and loving him.
God’s love is unfailing. It is. As humans, we have failing love all the time. While our love may be unconditional to some degree, we have our moments. As a mom, I have those “failed love” moments. I have those times where, on the 5th time of the day that I’ve asked Zach “PLEASE get off of the piano and settle down!” that I get snippy with him and just exclaim “Darn it, Zach, if you won’t listen, you’re going to be in trouble.” I reach my frustration point, my “limit” so to speak, and, while I still love Zach, my frustration fails him in that respect. God is so much different than that… even when you or I have stood on the piano 10 times that day, have stood there and dared God to just say “UGH! I’m leaving the room and counting to ten if you can’t behave!” …he just keeps on holding us.
There’s this old saying that says “If you’re feeling distant from God, stop and think… who moved?” I’ll give you a hint… God didn’t. He’s everywhere. If you’re distant from him, YOU moved.
And that’s where God’s love is unfailing. I think that’s why Psalms 13:5 speaks to me so much. It says “But I will trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.”
…think about that for a second. “I will trust in your unfailing love,” it says, “I will rejoice. Because you have rescued me.”
I mean, can you say much more here than just… wow?
God loves us so completely, so wholly, that his love is unfailing. It doesn’t fail. I know I may sound redundant here, but, to some degree, to unpack this verse, you have to be. God doesn’t fail. He doesn’t. Instead, he takes you, screaming toddler you, standing on the piano, shaking your fists, screaming at the top of your lungs, and he says “Come here. Give me a hug. I’m going to rescue you.”
When Zach, my son, crawls up on the piano, he climbs all the way up, unblinking, and then gets to the top and thinks “Whoa. This is really high. I’m kind of freaking out here.” I think we’re the same way. While our piano is metaphorical (or, hey, y’know, maybe you’re literally climbing onto a piano. I respect that– your choice there, dude), we put ourselves in these situations, these really scary places.
And then we think… “Oh. Crud. How do I get down from here?”
And God… God rescues me. He rescues you.
Listen to this song from Hillsong United. I think it really speaks to this verse, to Psalms 13:5, how God has this unfailing love, and he rescues us.
At one point, the writer of the song says “Your grace abounds in deepest waters. Your sovereign hand will be my guide. Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, you’ve never failed, and you won’t start now.”
God NEVER fails. And if we call upon his name, if we keep our eyes above the waves, we’re going to be able to find that rest in him, that love, unconditional.
We just have to accept it.
Sometimes when a verse is really speaking to me, I unpack it best by getting my creative side on and designing something to highlight that verse. I really wanted to share this design with you, so if it’s speaking to you, you can have that reminder of it. I’m sharing it here via dropbox in several sizes– 8×10, 4×6, 6×4, and 4×4 (for easy sharing on Instagram). Feel free to print, frame, and share this verse printable with your friends; if you plan to share the digital copy, please direct them to my blog so they can download it themselves rather than just sharing the file. Of course, if you’re printing it, feel free to print an extra copy for a loved one.
You can download this printable here.