Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It was three years ago today—Valentine’s day.  I sat in the ER with severe pain in my upper abdomen. After eight hours of waiting, probing, questions, and testing the doctor came in and closed the door. He uttered those words none of us what to hear…”it looks like it is cancer.”

As we went home stunned, trying to process the day’s events, I said to Jeff, “well, this day didn’t turn out like we thought!”

As I look over the past three years, what comes to my mind is the goodness & faithfulness of God.
 
Mind you, life has not been without its trials and troubles.
 
My going through cancer and all that entails.
 
A year and half ago our daughter lay in the ICU unit with such a severe case of pneumonia, the doctors didn’t know if she would make it.
 
Our grandson very recently was in a car accident which was not his fault, but he hit the car that pulled out in front of him then he hit a tree; it totaled his car. He walked away with minor injuries.
 
Our son and daughter-in-love have been dealing with a very tumultuous, emotionally draining business situation.
 
Doctors wondered how Jeff never had a heart attack and didn’t leave me a widow! He recently had quintuple-by pass surgery.
 
On top of all that I am the caretaker for my elderly mom and brother.
 
Whew!!!
 
 If I’ve learned anything in my walk with the Lord these past three years, it is I have choices. I can choose how I will deal with the trials and tribulations and all that life brings. So…I choose to see the goodness of God. I choose to believe He is faithful to his Word, to whom He says He is.
 
That doesn’t mean it is easy. One of my favorite books of the Bible is James. James 1:2-4 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow…”
 
What is James saying… that trials and difficulties are never going to stop. We can’t change that but we can change something. We can’t control the fact that trials and difficulties will come but we are in control of something else. Our response.
 
So about now you are probably thinking what does all this have to do with Valentine’s day?!
 
Remember when I said I look back on these past three year and I think of the goodness and faithfulness of God?  Well, that is what I think of when I think of Valentine’s day. The goodness and faithfulness of God.
 
He, in his love for us is so good. He is ever patient with us, isn’t he? He forgives all our sins. His mercies are new every morning. His grace truly is sufficient. He is the lover of our soul. His banner over us is love. He is faithful in his Word to us. He truly does provide for our needs. He is near to the brokenhearted. He does comfort us and give us peace as only he can give.
 
He is sweeter than any decadent box of chocolate that I could eat and soon be gone only to be applied to the hips! He is more fragrant than the beautiful flowers that Jeff gives me.
 
Don’t misunderstand me, I like the chocolate, the flowers and all that is associated with this day. But I am reminded each year when Valentine’s rolls around where I was on this day.
 
And let’s be honest, soon the chocolates are gone and the flowers wilt and die. They are fleeting.  The goodness and faithfulness of God is neither.
 
I know that there are trials that seem to suck the very life out of us. I get it, believe me!

There is tragedy and death. And in those times if we will choose to trust Him, he will show us his goodness and faithfulness. He will help us gets through the tough times. It is the building of our faith as we walk through the trials and troubles that we remember His goodness and faithfulness towards us. He truly is a good father to each of us.

 
I know this isn’t a sappy, gushy valentine day message. But it is a valentine day message of true love!
 
Jesus is the best valentine one could ever have. In fact, you and I were on his very mind when he was dying on that cross.
 
       “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
 
That my friend, is true love.
 
I close with one of my favorite verses that I hope you’ll think about as you go through your day,
 
             “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you,
               he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17
 
The Lord is singing over you a love song not only on this Valentine’s Day, but everyday!
 
My prayer for you is that today you rejoice in knowing that you are loved by the Father and He lavishes His grace and mercy upon you.
 
You are loved,
Jeannine