Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lent Day 2: "I choose you"

It's great to be chosen. Remember those awful ordeals in elementary school, where the strongest kids were chosen for sports teams and the rest of us got picked "middle and end" of the draw?

Over 36 years ago, my good friend and I chose each other. We got engaged. My mom and I planned the wedding and sent invitations to friends and acquaintances.

Over 35 years ago, W (that friend) and I got married. We agreed our marriage would be "for better and worse, in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer." I walked down the aisle thinking, "This is the person I'll grow old with. I bet I'll still like him when we are 60." (Mind you, I also thought, "Thank God, I don't have to date anymore." A strange sentiment for a bride, perhaps?)

W and I have had romantic years and fight-it-out years. Kid years when we hardly saw each other: I nearly drowned in childcare and homeschooling while W worked overtime at church. We spent years praying and puzzling about how to guide our interesting and exasperating teens. There were years of sickness and health for our daughter when we had barely enough energy to get up in the morning. Two sons married. One child moved out of town. We went back to school to learn new things. We traveled to foreign lands to teach. And we're still together.

Even more enduring (and endearing) is the model of love we learned as part of God's family. God chose us and committed to us before we loved him or knew him. He called us to Himself, inclined us to listen and respond, and provided reconciliation between us through Jesus Christ.

On this second day of Lent, I'm grateful for many experiences of loving and being loved. God has taught us that love is meant for giving and receiving. W and I are blessed with good parents and siblings. We love our children. We have many friends to hold dear.

Underneath the experiences and the years are the Everlasting Arms, sustaining, caring, and enriching every interaction. I'm so glad to be God's beloved this Valentine's Day. How about you?

Oh ... and of course I'm grateful for Prince Charming, too! Love you, hon.

Read more:
*I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17

*Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31 NIV

*Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:7-11 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Instructor of the universe, we wait with open and longing hearts for you to teach us the ways in which we should live in a right relationship with all you have created. Amen. 

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