There are days…probably for most all of us….when we feel a bit “down and out”. I remember when our girls were growing up there would be days when they would be so pitiful and say with such passion, “nobody loves me”. Haven’t we all felt that way. We know in our deepest heart that we are loved, but somehow the pressures or stress of life so overwhelms us that we start sinking into ourselves and the enemy can cause us to believe that we are nothing special….not lovable….not desirable….completely forgettable. But sweet friend…that is not so at all.
Last week, I had one of those weeks. Not that I didn’t feel loved….but that I was completely overwhelmed with the “stuff” of life. Pain has kept me from going 90 miles an hour (as is my usual pace this time of year)….my work is a bit behind right now, due to being out with back problems…the usual Christmas parties have been happening, but I have none of the gusto I normally have. I have been in that “frustrated” mode of attitude since Thanksgiving (yeah, I know), and have been talking to the Lord, partly out loud when I’m alone, and partly in my heart/head. Most of it has been self-pity…since I can’t do all the “Christmassy” things I want to do!
A few days ago I had a conversation with my Father that went something like this:
“This is so aggravating!” I fumed—out loud—as I hung up the phone rather sharply after the one-thousandth phone call of the day. Why don’t they stop calling and let me get something done!”
“They have needs.”
“So do I!—Hel—lll—oooo—-remember my need? I am hurting here! This is just too much!”
Then the call came. At exactly 3:16 p.m. From a man named John. Can’t give you his last name…client confidentiality and all that…but that’s not the point….the call came from John at 3:16. And the Lord’s message to my heart came through LOUD and CLEAR.
“Angie, I do love you, and I care about every detail of your life. But I need you to focus on Me. For I loved you so much….I gave My All. So that you would have ever lasting life. With Me. Do you understand child?”
You may think I made this up…but sorry. I’m not that clever. You see John calls our office frequently. As does Beth, Ricky, Bruce, Miss Mary, my girls, my co-workers family members, amidst tons of clients. So why did John call at exactly 3:16? Why not 3:17? Or 3:15? Because my Father had a message. For me. Since it is my custom to take down the exact time and date of each and every call…God knew I’d notice. Since we use duplicate message books, I have a copy of the message I took to prove this call came. When the call came, His love flooded my heart. Not the love from the caller….but the love from the Caller. My Father.
Allow me now to back up to a few weeks ago. When sitting in a doctors office waiting to meet with the “one” that supposedly has the answers for my pain. The Lord showed me exactly Who has the answers to not only my pain, but the healing as well. Not only the healing, but He has the answer to the questions in my heart. No, the answers may not come when we ask. Sometimes the answers come after a time of trial. So that we can see. See with eyes of the heart (spiritual), and not just eyes of the head (physical).
If you are wondering how the picture comes into play here….allow me to share. My thought was spurred on by a handmade cross and real nail sitting on the desk. I was thinking of all the things I should be doing rather than “wasting time” in a doctors office. If you know me at all….you know that going to the doctor for me is the ultimate last resort. When I have exhausted every home remedy known to mankind, then I will go to the doctor….Do we treat our “soul needs” the same way. When we have exhausted every effort in trying to “fix” whatever the problem is our self…then we go to the Father….When you are feeling unloved, in pain, left out, alone, scared, depressed, heartsick, burdened with something you can’t seem to put a name to, place your hand on the nail. Feel the love—it came with the pain of everything we could possibly endure today….and more. For He loved us enough to die for all the sins we would ever commit. Not just you and I. But for every single human being in this entire world. Living, dead or yet to be born. All of us.
I wish I had read Max Lucado’s book 3:16. I could probably do a better job writing this. But since it is still sitting on my shelf “waiting” for it’s time…it is still unread. But the message I am sharing today is the message He had for me. I am loved. You are loved. God proved it in a manger. In a stinky musty barn. Alone with just His earthly parents. The onlookers that were in His “waiting room” were just some farm animals. No calls were made by humans. But the Lord of Hosts sent His message out by special messenger.
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men’.” (Luke 2:9-14 KJV)
And so, as God proved His love for us on the day Christ became one of us….that love was proven again on Calvary….when God gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believed in Him, would not perish, but would have everlasting life….with Him. That same love is proven time and time again. To each one of us. So precious friend…if you are feeling unloved….put your hand on the nail. The sharp end. Feel the love.
A special thank you goes to my friend Joe, the photographer (in my opinion) of all photographers. He sees with his heart. The Lord’s beauty comes through clear in his photographs. When I had this devotion begin to form in my head, I e-mailed Joe with the request of a picture. He came through! Thank you Joe, the picture is perfect.
God bless you all this most blessed of seasons!
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