”THE TRUE MEASURE OF LOVE” Is to love without measure. Despite what Romeo and Juliet and modern romanticism have brought to the world, God is still the biggest, most loving Valentine.
God’s love for man is its own reason for being. It is a gift- and is given to everyone unconditionally. To those faithful to His Word, God loves with joy; to those in sin, God loves out of His Mercy.
God’s love is leaning on one’s doorbell forever- waiting for the owner of the house to open it. The door remains closed when a man is sinning but the leaning never leaves the doorway. God’s love is patient- waiting for man to harken to the calls from the doorbell. Forever.
Creating man to His Image and likeness, God wants man to live a joyful one. A life that is filled with fear, anger, doubt, envy, hatred and jealousy is not of God. Whenever one begins to feel an inclination towards any of these “killjoys”, one should kill all those negative thoughts right away.
For whatever one thinks affects what one feels and, in turn, affects how one acts. Rather- one must constantly fill one’s thoughts with that of joy and thankfulness.
The pandemic has brought most of us into isolation- and opportunities for introspection or looking within us. Many have realized in our isolation that there are only a few things in life that man really needs. The rest are mere “wants” and influenced by propaganda and advertisement to purchase and enjoy.
Or to possess to make us feel superior to others.
From that perspective, man begins to feel grateful for how God has actually provided for most if not all of man’s needs. This simple act of thankfulness fills man with joy. The man of the world, on the other hand, loses himself because he constantly compares himself with others- feeling envious or superior as the case may be.
For as The Desiderata says, there will always be people who will be better or lesser than us.
During the pandemic, one’s approach to problems should be one of thankfulness and trust. Because God is always in control. With God as our Shepherd, we should fear nothing for the shepherd always takes care of his flock.
When faced with problems, remember His Word: Be still- and know that I am God. He asks man to “cast all your burdens upon me – all those who are heavily laden. Come to me all of you who are tired of carrying a heavy load. Come to me – and I will give you rest.”
And when one rests – be assured that the Shepherd never slumbers- and will always keep watch over you.
And when man petitions Him in earnest supplication – God always answers prayers.
A yes, a no, or a not yet- for He always does what He says he will do – in His time. When God seemed not to answer one’s prayers to be able to migrate the family to greener pastures abroad, think that the reason one is still in the country is that God sees that one’s children will not become good Christians growing up in ” that greener pasture”.
While striving for better things is not bad, one also has to learn to find contentment with what we already have rather than postpone the joy until all our desires are fulfilled. Not all of them will come true. God always answers prayers- never too early much less too late in the Wisdom of His Omnipotent timing.
Think about the man who always complained he had no good shoes -until he saw a man with only one leg.
Likewise, when one is bothered by many thoughts and pressures in life, the antidote to that is in trying to help others. Be it in the form of time, talent, and presence to those who are much more in need. This concern for “others” takes away focus from one’s own shortfalls.
In a medium-sized mall recently, a team of UNICEF volunteers was campaigning for funds for destitute Filipino children. An elderly man came and gave his one-year contribution to the cause.
The UNICEF volunteer said: May God bless you and your contribution multiply a hundredfold. The man said something that struck us: ” It’s not that, I am just giving back what the Lord had already given to me.” And he walked away.
Every day- one should trust that the Lord will always provide and walking in such faith includes an acceptance that everything (both positive and negative) that happens in life- has consequences that will eventually redound to our own good. One just has to look hard and find the true meaning of events.
Therefore, one must not worry too much about tomorrow- for God had already provided everything one needs to take care of today. To worry is to distrust God and the Scripture.
Besides, worry results in the weakening of our own immune system-. It is unhealthy. It is being “anxious for nothing” which is the title of the best-selling book of John Macarthur.
To experience Valentine’s Day for 365 days in a year is to have a “love affair” with Jesus- and not to let our happiness be dependent on mere humans and fickled earthly circumstances. To do the latter is to court disappointment throughout one’s life. For humans are never perfect.
And, finally, one can even use a secular song from the romantic singer Jim Brickman and make it mean as if the lyrics were meant for Jesus:
Even if the sun refuse(s) to shine
Even if romance run out of rhyme,
I will still have Your Heart until the end of time
Cause you’re all I need, it’s you (Jesus), my Valentine.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone. Cheers!
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PANDEMIC BRINGS OUT LOVE IN MANY FORMS
NETIZENS WHO CALLED THE weekly program dyRD’s “Radyo Merkado” discovered many forms of love, despite the sadness, amidst the pandemic For one, it has also given folks the chance to know who their real friends are.
They commented on the touching messages through text or otherwise coming from relatives and friends, aside from family members- asking sincerely how they are struggling to survive.
It is heartwarming to get messages from long-lost friends one has not heard for so long and all of a sudden would ask “kumusta naka, dha?” Heartwarming, indeed.
The pandemic likewise gave people the unexpected opportunity to bond among family members, especially with their growing children who, before the pandemic, one could hardly see in the house as it’s either the (parents) leave early or the kids (arrive late at night). It totally changed the landscape of family bonding.
We noticed children especially those overseas frequently contacting their aging parents back home. With the modern technology on videocam, the lonely hearts could easily cheer up with video calls from their loved ones (no matter how distant).
Loving thy neighbor got a new, more meaningful twist. The love from neighbors which one hardly felt during normal days became so evident when people extend a helping hand to whatever their boy next door would need while most of us were under peak quarantine lockdown.
Likewise, exchanging sad stories of being jobless and losing livelihood brought people closer as they empathize with one another about the common difficulties we experienced for the very first time. Just acknowledging each other’s agony and trials would end inevitably end up with people expressing one’s love and concern for the other.
Proof positive that people need to be cared for and listened to is the increasing number of volunteers in mental -wellness programs which were hardly heard of in Bohol before the pandemic. Those professionally or naturally gifted to counsel came into the midst to console those down and tired about imagining the longevity of this crisis.
The mere fact that you can call somebody you don’t even know from Adam- and would be on the other end of the line to hear your sad story. Isn’t that love in action?
And lastly but never the least, the frontliners who sacrificed their time and risked their lives to take care of the covid -stricken individuals. They were not there just to earn. But they were there to show their genuine love and concern for the sick.
In the end, love conquers all. Didn’t the Good Book always tell us so?
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