“You Deserve It”

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You did not choose me, but I chose you (John 15:16)

The night before last I went for a walk/run after dinner to burn off some anxious energy. I had had a long day at work and needed the therapy. I was gone around thirty minutes and when I came home Callie told me she had a surprise for me inside. She had washed the dishes, cleaned the doors and windows and cleaned the house up a bit. It was very sweet and thoughtful thing to do. I told her how much I appreciated it and she said “Well, you deserve it!” I had to smile because she had never said that to me. But then I had to wonder why she felt that way. I had been a bit irritable earlier because I was anxious and hungry. She knew this. But just as I forgive her ever-changing moods, she forgives mine. Why? Because she loves me and I love her.

Greg has said those same words to me as long as I have known him. Whenever he does something sweet or kind and I thank him, he says “You deserve it!” I know he has said that to me a thousand times in the last three years and yet it still is hard for me to accept at times. He knows my life has not been perfect. He knows I try so hard not to worry and to overcome so many things on a daily basis. But he still thinks I am deserving of all he has to offer. Why? Because he knows how much I love him and he loves me the same.

The dictionary describes the word deserve as “to be worthy of, qualified for, or have a claim to reward”. That sneaky little word in that description always trips me up: worthy. If I deserve something, does it mean I am worthy of it? I struggle with that quite often. Past mistakes and flaws always seem to rise to the forefront when I hear that word.

The same doubt sometimes creeps into my mind even with my relationship with God. I am always surprised when He answers my prayers. I know that sounds ridiculous and it is not because I don’t believe He is capable or responsible for the outcome. It is because I sometimes wonder why He would choose to listen to me and my needs when I haven’t always led my life in a way that is pleasing to Him. I don’t always feel worthy or deserving of what He gives to me in return for what little I give to Him. But isn’t that what John 3:16 is all about? “For God so loved the world….”

He loves us despite our mistakes. I love this quote from one of my favorite Proverbs 31 Ministries speakers, Micca Campbell:

“Before we were born, God knew all about us. He knew what we would fear, the troubles we would face, and the mistakes we would make. Yet, He chose to love us anyway.”

God knows that I try so hard not to worry and He knows that I am making a daily effort to give full control to Him. He too, knows of my ever-changing moods. He wants me to understand that all He has to offer is before me for the taking. I just don’t always see it. But He forgives me for my flaws. Why? Because He loves me and I owe everything to Him.

 

“Be Mine”

love1Open your hearts to the love God instills . . . God loves you tenderly. What He gives you is not to be kept under lock and key, but to be shared. –Mother Teresa

BE MINE…chances are you will hear or see these two words everywhere you look today. On cards, candy hearts, balloons and boxes of yummy chocolate. Someone is longing for you to allow yourself to be theirs. To love you and be loved by you. But let’s not forget the One who has longed for you to be His since the very beginning. Without Him we would not know what love is. When your heart is filled with affection and overwhelming emotion to the point where it fills as if it might burst, remember where that love originated.

He taught us that “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

He commanded that we “love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13: 34-35) And to “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14)

He assures us that “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us” (John 4:18-19)

And let us never forget that “faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

No matter what your struggles are today, never forget that you are loved and the strongest love of all is the one that comes from above. It is always available, never-ending and given freely without question. With it comes, mercy, grace and a peace beyond compare.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!