Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jasper Speaks:

Valentine's Day. It is not nearly as significant now that I am married. I have a valentine all the time. I try to show her my appreciation every day. This day has got me thinking about love, particularly the love of God for me. Admittedly, it has been a very difficult few weeks for me. The loss of my mother was a devastating blow. It has left a void in my life for sure.

Still, she would not be pleased with me if this whole experience had not drawn me closer to the Lord. I have to say that I did go through anger and ambivalence with the Lord throughout the process of losing mom and her eventual death. I don't think those emotions caught God off guard. I know He knew that I was hurting and deeply upset. He, too, had these hurts. Remember Lazarus? Our Lord wept at the thought of His dear friend being dead.

The grea
t thing about God becoming one of us is that, for me at least, at times of my greatest sorrow and distress, I recall that He does know how I feel. He has walked this path before.

What wondrous love is this, oh my soul!? How I have been blessed. I had an incredible, Godly mother for 38 years. She was an incredible example of the heart of Christ as I watch her unconditionally love everyone --- even the "least of these". I am the man I am today because of her prayers and example. What wondrous love!

What wondrous love is this, oh my soul? I have a loving family, especially my Dad and my sister Darla. They are people who show me unconditional love everyday. My poor daddy is hurting and lonely, still he has time to thank me for calling him and reassures me that he loves me. He always has. This isn't a sudden change with the passing of Mom. God's love is displayed in the loving father he gave me. What wondrous love!

What wondrous love is this? My sister Darla is my best friend (besides Kendra of course). He gave me a sister who has always been quick to defend me and quick to appreciate me. She is an encourager and the type of friend who you pray that God blesses you with. Although, she is quick to say what she thinks, her love for me is always evident. She is another example of the love of God in my life. What wondrous love!

What wondrous love is this, oh my soul? My friends are also incredible. I thank God for them. They love and support me and help me live out Ecclesiastes Four every day of my life. It is good to not be in this alone. What wondrous love!

What wondrous love is this, oh my soul? My beautiful wife. Kendra is the constant reminder to me that God loves me more than I deserve. This day is on the calendar for me to reflect on my love for her and I can't think about that long without thinking about how much God must love me to give me such an incredible mate. She has proven this again as she has been my rock and support during this difficult time. In her arms I have cried tears of sorrow, guilt and joy over the past couple of months. The love of God is evident in the arms of the wife of my youth. She is more than I imagined and far more than I deserve. What wondrous love!

What wondrous love is this, oh my soul? Jackson. When I look back over this past year, he is a monumental sign of the love of God in my life. How quickly he has become the center of our universe! I do not know that I have ever understood the love of my Heavenly Father as much as I have since I have cradled my own child in my arms. Even as he is sick or angry or defiant, I am learning the love of God for me as I look into his eyes and am reminded of the miracle of how God brought him to our lives. What wondrous love!

What wondrous love is this, oh my soul? As I am reminded of the sacrifice of Christ, which displayed the ultimate love for me that I could ever know, I am so grateful that He has given me reminders every day of His wondrous love.

What wondrous love is this?

Yes, what wondrous love is this, that would cause the Lord of bliss to shed His own blood for my soul?

Remember His love for you on this day.

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