Valentines Day is a day dedicated to love – often the whole month of February is focused on love, the following story portrays love, truly and completely:
You gather your mail and are surprised as you sift through the endless flyers and bulk “for occupant” mail to see a rather elegant gold metallic envelope in the pile. Your name is written in perfect calligraphic script; curious, you re-check the name. Yes, it is for you. Pleasantly surprised, you expectantly tear and rip it open.
Oh! An invitation.
God has extended an invitation to you to come and meet with Him. He wants to express His love for you and has a gift to give you. Totally overwhelmed, you question this, mulling and swirling dozens of thoughts at one time around in your mind. Who are you to be invited into the presence of the King, yet alone be given a gift? Who are you that you should be noticed?
You wonder if you should go, yet you know that you will. You begin to plan what to wear, something that will make you look…not plain, for that is the way you feel inside: plain, ordinary, nothing special. The outfit will make the difference! And yet, deep down, you know the outfit will not change anything; you will still be the same ordinary person you know you are.
On the day of the event you spend your time primping and fussing until at last, with an exasperated sigh, you conclude there is not much else you can do with yourself; it is as good as it gets, and you go.
You approach the door of the royal palace with tremors in your legs and butterflies in your stomach. The messenger who answers greets you in a fine and royal manner as if he was expecting to see you. He announces that the King is waiting for you and that you are to go right in, as He is expecting you. Startled and looking around you ask if the other guests have arrived, and are even more startled as he tells you that you are to be the only guest.
He leads you into the great room—not just any room, but a radiant room. The elegant, exquisite décor are such that you gasp upon entering such a fine room. You warily glance about the room, sweeping it with your eyes shaking off the feeling like you should not be here.
Then you notice it—the light at the end of the room, a light unlike any other, a warm, comforting light; it seems to beckon you. As you approach the end of the room, you notice the light is being emitted from a figure, a figure seated on a throne; it is the figure of the King.
You approach slowly and then bow down very low to the floor and expectantly wait. Suddenly you feel the presence of a hand upon your shoulder, and you look up, up into eyes that you have never experienced before. You see eyes that portray only warmth, compassion, and something that you cannot imagine that would be there for you: love.
You fluster and start to explain your presence, saying how quite fine it is with you if there was a mix-up in the invitation, for you do not really know why you got invited; you could leave and would not be offended. The radiant face beams down at you. Gently, so very gently, He lifts your head up, cradling your face between both His warm, strong hands.
With a voice oh so tender, He says, “My child, there has been no mix-up. I have been waiting for you. I have longed to meet with you many times, I have longed to share my Kingdom with you. I have sent my messengers out and I would wait by the gate to see if you had accepted my invitations, but always, always, they returned disheartened. I have kept watch over you since the day you were born—in fact, I was at your birth and I even saw you when you were in your mother’s womb. Oh, my child, you are more beautiful with each passing day; you have blossomed into a beautiful person. I was so right to give you those eyes. But come, come my child, and talk with me, I so long to hear your voice and hear the longings of your heart. Come.”
Hand in hand, you go to a place prepared for just two, and you talk, long, long into the night. He is so easy to talk to; He listens so intently as if you were His only thought in the world. His voice is alive with emotion, and His laugh—oh, His laugh!—it is indescribable.
Then it happens: He gets a look over His face that flashes just for an instant, quick but not quick enough for you not to notice. He tells in a voice so deep and raw with emotion a tale that catches you sharply, and you realize that as He speaks, you are holding your breath. He tells you of an old and ancient enemy that has had spies come into the land to spy and scout out the Kingdom. This enemy has sent a letter—a ransom note—to the King, demanding that in order to preserve peace and not be overtaken in a violent and bloody war that a pact be signed. In sealing the pact, a token must be given to ensure good faith on the King’s part.
“The enemy has asked for you, my child, as a sign to seal the pact.” As the King is speaking, tears well up in His eyes, and then they overflow, running in streams down His face. “Oh my child, I have searched my Kingdom over to see what I can do to take away this burden. My heart is heavy within me at the thought of ever losing you or anyone of my kingdom to this enemy. I fear if I do not release you to him he will come in the deep of night and whisk you away. I have been searching for just the right gift to give to seal this pact—a gift that would not only express my love and affection for you and the others in my Kingdom, but one that would also satisfy the enemy.
I know now what that gift must be: a gift that is perfect, unflawed, one that is of the utmost value to me. Not money, nor fame, nor gold or precious gems. You see, my child, these things perish; no, my gift to him will be…”
There is total solemn silence, and He speaks in a slow strained whisper, “…my Son—my own precious Son; the gift will be the Prince.”
Do you feel the emotion? The pain?
Could you ever give up your child?
God did not spare His Son for your ransom, for my ransom, for all our ransoms; He gave up His Son, His only Son, to an enemy that He already knew was going to torture and kill Him. He, the King, would not intervene in the procedure, but would have to sit and watch, knowing that in the end this was the only way to defeat that ancient enemy and to save each and every one of those in His kingdom. *
This is no fairy tale, this is reality, my friend, this is how much God loves me, and how much God loves you.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that all who believe in Him are saved.” (John 3:16)
Happy Love Month.
(*excerpt from Free to Fly, Chapter 1, authored by Jane Wheeler)