You are Cherished
I was sitting in church a few Sundays ago, when I felt uncomfortably warm, so I reached for my bag and pulled out a little fan. I opened it and waved it briskly near my sweaty face. Ah! Delicious breezes cooled me. That was better! Much better. I could now concentrate on the sermon. I confess though that my attention was divided. As I listened to the wise words emanating from the preacher’s mouth, I couldn’t help sneaking a few admiring glances at what was in my hand. I was surprised by its loveliness.
The little trinket had cost me only 3 dollars, but it’s value was much greater. For one thing, it never failed to deliver refreshment when I needed it. And then there was the aesthetic side to it. Pretty purple flowers and dainty green leaves stood out in a silky white background. Little undulating wooden ‘sticks’ in contrasting colours of black and white held the fan together. I marvelled at it. You might think ‘marvel’ is too strong a word, but it’s true. It was so eye-catching, that I looked at it, twice, thrice and more.
I wonder what your Valentine’s day was like? Did your Valentine marvel at you and your beauty? Shan and I have never paid much attention to Valentine’s day because, you see, a more important event always followed it. Today, the 15th of Feb 2016 my husband and I celebrate 30 years of wedded bliss. Isn’t that something worth shouting about? Don’t worry, I shan’t bore you with sloppy gooey stories or shock you with too much fascinating detail. You won't need to cover your eyes and ears, I promise.
When we were engaged, a couple who’d been married a few years told us we’d soon get bored with each. Bored? Surely not? I’m happy to share with you now, that after 3 decades of marriage they have been proved wrong. It’s not that life’s been perfect. While we’ve oft been walking in lush green meadows hand in hand, sipping the nectar of the gods, that’s only been some of the time. We’ve also had all kinds of rugged pathways to trek through, perilous mountains to climb, obstacle courses to circumvent. Tough times? Of course. But bored with each other? Never. That vital spark is still very much alive in our marriage. I’m thrilled to report that my beloved is still TBHAGEH (The Best Husband A Girl Ever Had), my confidante, lover and best friend.
I am deeply grateful to Shan for many things: The good life he’s provided us with, through his perseverance and hard work. His empathy, sense of humour, gentleness and understanding which never cease to bless me. For the amazing, one-in-a-million kind of Dad he’s been to our son. Mostly for the the myriad ways he still makes me feel loved and cherished. When I think of Valentine’s day, I envision a mushy kind of love, one that doesn’t endure the ravages of time. Marriage vows signify something deeper and more trustworthy than a fancy ring, a bunch of flowers or a dinner for two once a year on Valentine’s day. The dictionary tells me that cherishing another has many facets: To adore, love, care for, be devoted to, revere, esteem, admire, appreciate, protect, shelter, keep safe, support, nurture. Aren't we all created to be cherished?
If I could marvel at the appeal of an insignificant little fan, what do you think God does when He looks at you, His creation? That fan cost me 3 dollars. So how much do you think you are worth? 30 dollars? 300 dollars? 30 milion dollars? What a silly question! Who can ever put a price on a human being, crafted by the One and Only Creator God, the One who lives forever? I thank God today, for His faithfulness showered on us these 30 years and I wonder afresh at his immense love for us.
Special occasions like Valentine’s day could often leave one feeling sad and alone, a little bird sitting atop a creaking branch, watching the Eagles’ grand launch party from a distance. But don’t forget! No matter what your circumstances, you’re never alone. You are deeply loved and always will be. And not just by any old someone either. You are loved by the Majestic, Eternal Holy God who created you so that He could lavish His great love upon you. Jesus paid the ultimate price to secure your freedom and mine. Those who walk in His ways are kept safe under His wings.
Cherished by Him for all eternity.
"For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear Him." Psalm 103:11
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1