“Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, He embraced us” (Eph 2:4, MSG).
I skipped Valentine’s Day one year.
Rather just skip it too? Permission Granted. Skipping Valentine’s Day can be the best soul-care you’ll ever receive. I’ve been there and I’ve felt your pain. Honestly, I mean that. While I now embrace and celebrate 25 years of marriage with my man, for years I just wanted February 14th to vanish from my calendar altogether.
Have you lost that lovin’ feeling?
We’ve all been there at least once. When you’re single, divorced, or widowed, certain days and celebrations can be a harsh reminder of just how lonely you are. We thrive when loved. Although we need to feel loved, sometimes we simply don’t.
Unfortunately, I can still vividly remember one hard Valentine’s Day in particular. My dad always sent me a card in a red envelope each year. Hoping to find some joy in my day, I went to my mailbox. Instead of finding a card from dad, there they were, my final divorce papers.
Feeling completely alone as a recently divorced, very young woman in the early ’90’s, I was brokenhearted. Moreover, I was insecure; I was scared. Mostly, I was lonely. Really, I just wanted this day to be OVER.
What does it mean to be kept by God?
Through my tears, I cried out to the only One who could provide the comfort I so desperately needed. And because God catches every one of our tears in a bottle, He answered with a deep, heartfelt embrace that renewed my confidence. As a result, He gave me a sense of security to hold onto through this long, dark night of my soul.
“Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, He embraced us” (Eph 2:4 MSG).
What’s it like to be embraced by God?
To be held? To be kept?
The security of having a Protector and Keeper allows us to be still, to rest for a moment in this knowing. I longed to feel this on that lonely day in 1992. Perhaps, you need to be reminded of this truth right now.
If today is one you’d rather just skip on the calendar, I want you to know you are safe and secure. You are seen and treasured. Additionally, you are kept. There’s a love letter written especially for you.
“I’m writing to the chosen ones who are wrapped in the love of the Father God ~ kept and guarded for Jesus, the Messiah. May God’s mercy, peace and love cascade over you” (Jude 1:1-2 TPT).
His love is unstoppable, unquenchable, unrelenting, and everlasting.
There’s no place to run and no place to hide. He will always find us. Wherever you’re at today, I want to remind you that God’s got you covered. His banner over you is love and while you may not feel loved or safe today, the truth is you are kept by God. And, He wants you to know it. Not to mention, He went to great lengths to divinely inspire each and every word written to you in the greatest love letter of all time, the Bible.
One of the most beautiful love letters and love stories written in the Bible is found in Hosea. While God’s chosen people continued to seek satisfaction and pleasure in every possible way except His way, He never gave up on them. When they forgot about Him, He always remembered, for they hold a special place in His heart. Indeed, they were His people: set aside, spoken for and kept.
Like Gomer, in the book of Hosea, we’ve all chosen idols over the one true God. We’ve lived self-sufficiently, independent from God, and made our own rules instead of following His ways. That’s exactly why we need a Savior who will fight for us when we’ve forgotten who we are. When we finally do come home, He welcomes us with open arms. He embraces us.
“Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, He’ll calm you with His love and delight you with His songs” (Zeph 3:17 MSG).
What does it mean to be kept by God?
It means we are reserved, set apart, taken…spoken for, saved, and held. When we’re kept, we’re provided for by His everlasting love. In fact, we’re the apple of His eye and He’s always watching out for us.
No matter what we’ve done, where we’ve been, or how badly our hearts are shattered, God remains faithful to us. Whether we’ve been hurt or were responsible for the pain in a relationship or friendship, hope is the gateway out of our heartbreak. When we’re feeling very low, God lifts us up and says,
“I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope” (Hosea 2:15 MSG).
When we’re in the valley, hopeless and surrounded by grief, God offers us “acres of hope” where we can run free in His love. As a matter of fact, this place is set aside for us, if only we’ll follow His path out of the valley and into the spacious place He’s provided.
Hope is the gateway out of our heartbreak.
In His love letter, God says,
“I am like a luxuriant fruit tree. Everything you need is to be found in Me. If you want to live well, make sure you understand all of this. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll learn this inside and out. God’s paths get you where you want to go” (Hosea 14:8-9 MSG).
If the only place you want to go is to the next day on the calendar, His paths will get you there. Follow His lead. Rest in His embrace and tomorrow will come.
“All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God! Thank Him to his face! He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter” (Psalm 30:5 MSG).
One Other Note
If you have people in your life who might want to just skip tomorrow like I once did, please send them a note and share this devotional with them. Brighten their day and show them some love.
“And his banner over me is love” (Song of Solomon 2:4 NASB).
If you need to be reminded of His love, soak up Song of Solomon in The Passion Translation. It is written in an easy-to-read-and-understand language that will refresh your soul.
If you’ve been hurt in a relationship, This is what the LORD of Armies says: “Whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye” (Zech 2:8 NIV).
Or, if you’ve been unfaithful, know this:
“If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself” (2 Tim 2:13 ESV).
“Love is patient. Love is kind. And, love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. Love isn’t rude; it doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. No, it doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. Love never comes to an end (1 Cor 13:4-8 GW).
Prayer: Lord, let Your love cascade over us today. May we feel loved by You. Also, may we feel kept. For those who are brokenhearted, bring them out of the “valleys of heartbreak” and into Your “acres of hope.” Thank You, Lord, for giving us joy overflowing and love everlasting. Turn our weeping into dancing and set our paths towards Your arms of love. Embrace us and keep us forevermore.
Featured Image By Will O.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on amyelaine.com.