In honor of Valentine’s Day, it seems fitting to discuss the topic of love. Among our many desires as humans, one of the greatest is to be truly loved—fully known by another and fully loved by them as we are. I know this is a desire of mine. But, sometimes I wonder, if someone really knew all my thoughts, sins, and struggles, would they still really love me? Or, if someone does love me at the present time, is it only because they don’t yet fully know me? Will their love fade the more I am known by them? The answer, if it is true love we are talking about, is NO! True love not only remains the more you are known, but grows stronger because of it.
Several Sundays ago, I visited Rock Harbor Church. Near the end of the service, this video (below) was played, and I couldn’t keep the tears from coming! The story paints a beautiful picture of a father’s love for his son and a welcoming of him home, despite all the things the dad knows are wrong with the son and all the hurtful things the son has done to him.
What brings me to tears is how great the father’s love is for his son in light of all the wrong and hurtful things the son has done. The brokenness of the son is fully known by the father, but the son is completely and fully loved. The father visually expresses this love for his son in his response to the son’s request. The son asked his dad to put ONE single sheet out on the fence if his dad wanted to see him. But the father didn’t just want to see him, he REALLY wanted to see him—he wanted to show his forgiveness and welcome him home with open arms. He wanted to express his overwhelming desire to be with his son despite his son’s brokenness and the way his son had hurt him. So, he littered the route home with sheets, essentially saying, “You are not just loved, my wayward son, you are known, you are COMPLETELY loved, and you are welcomed back home with joy!”
This picture is one the Bible also gives in regard to the love our Heavenly Father has for us. We are created and fully known by him--“His eyes saw my unformed substance; in his book were written, every one of the, the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139: 16). Not only did he form us, but the Bible says, “You have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar…You are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139: 1-4).
And while I am more fully known by Him than I am by any other—even down to the darkest most unattractive corners of my heart—I am also more fully loved by Him than any other. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8). How great the Father’s love for us! What better confirmation than for Him to give himself up so that we could be joyously welcomed home! He is indeed the best Valentine!
By Katie Miller
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