“Pilgrim Reflections” - “God’s Valentine”
By the world’s standards, it wasn’t too impressive; in fact, it was pretty plain-looking.
Yes, the prophet Isaiah wrote some 700 years before God sent it that there’d be nothing flashy about it that’d catch your eye or make you pick it out in the world’s store. But, in reality, there’s never been one like it—before or since.
“What in the world are you talking about, Preacher?” someone asks.
“You been smokin’ dope?” another asks with a devilish, smirkey smile and giggle.
And, the answer is “No:” for the Valentine God sent “Special Delivery” to earth wasn’t a big one with red ribbon or frilly lace on the outside; in fact, it wasn’t a paper one at all.
It was a Person named Jesus.
Yes, when Isaiah caught a glimpse of what this long-awaited, “Anointed-and-Appointed, Promised Deliverer sent from God” would be like, it probably blew him away: for his description of Him in Is. 53 is mind-blowing.
And, His Valentine is definitely life-changing.
I know: because He definitely changed mine when I was a seven-year-old, abandoned-and-abused little boy thinking no one cared about me.
Yes, you don’t get abandoned by your own parents and then physically, mentally and emotionally abused by one of your adoptive parents without it taking a toll on you.
But, thankfully, God’s Valentine showed up at my heart’s door that night at a revival service in a small, country church in central Arkansas that night: and I’ve never been the same again. Glory!!
From that time until now, Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming Messiah or Christ has taken on new meaning for me. Suddenly, his description of how He’d be pretty plain-looking. . .One Who’d understand all of my suffering and sorrows. . .and would carry me through them (Is. 53:2-4). . .came to life. . .making me know I wasn’t alone. . .and never would be ever again.
And, that’s made all the difference! Hallelujah!!
There was no way Isaiah would know God’s Valentine would be despised, rejected, thrown on the ground and stomped on the way He would (vv.5-9); neither did he realize that God Himself would even seem to take pleasure in others treating Him that way—for He did nothing to stop it, even though He could have (vv.10-11).
But, that’s why “His Thoughts and Ways are much higher and ‘different’ than ours” (Is. 55:8-9). And, for that we should be eternally grateful.
Look at it this way:
When you were in elementary or high school. . .and you had a crush on that “special one” in your class. . .and you went out and bought the nicest valentine card. . .a box of chocolates. . . and a dozen roses. . .gave it to him/her while blushing. . .and he/she threw them down, spit on them and stomped on them. . .while laughing at you. . .how would you feel?
Angry? Hurt? Wanting to lash out or run away?
Of course! That’s what “wounded love” wants to do!
But, God didn’t—and, thankfully, He didn’t.
No, He knew and still willingly sent Jesus to the Cross to die an agonizing death among two thieves and then have to borrow someone else’s newly-dug grave to bury His Valentine in (v.12).
But, thankfully, His Valentine—which came in a plain-brown wrapper and was later covered in red—would emerge from that tomb three days later: with a radiant, Resurrection Glow. And, even today, God still offers Him to everyone who wants Him:
All because of His great, undying Love for those that don’t deserve anything but His Wrath, dead and an eternity in hell.
So, the question is “Have you accepted His Valentine and are showing your appreciation by telling others about Him? Or, have you thrown Him on the ground and trampled Him underfoot while passionately pursuing the world’s flashy cards??”
Hope you’ll choose God’s Valentine and find what you’ve been looking for in Him.
(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 614, Mulberry, AR 72947 or e-mail him at email@example.com).
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