Why are you looking for love? Why are you searching as if I'm not enough? Where will you go child? Tell me where will you run? Where will you run?
Let's be honest. Today is Valentine's Day. Some of us will be spending the day with a special someone, but still others of us will look on this day painfully. Why is that? Is love defined by a person? According to 1 Corinthians 13:3-8, "Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always 'me first,' doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies" (The Message). Not once does it say that love is a human person. Love is something that we must work at. It isn't easy. None of the definitions in 1 Corinthians 13 say that love is easy. In fact, love can be a pretty tough thing.
This past week many of my friends have been planning what they were going to do for their boyfriends and anticipating the many surprises in store for them on Valentine's Day. Some of my other friends were even asked on first-time dates! As I sat back and watched my friends' enthusiasm and excitement, I wondered about my own Valentine's Day. Who would I be spending it with? Some of my single friends were desperately looking for a date this past week--even if it was only a one-time-thing, just so that they wouldn't be alone. As I began to think about that, I knew in my heart that something just wasn't right. Why would I want to look for a date just for a day? I mean, Valentine's Day is just another day, right? So why do we put so much emphasis on loving others on this one, single day?
Tenth Avenue North sings the song, "By Your Side." This past week, one little phrase jumped out at me: "Why are you looking for love? Why are you searching as if I'm not enough?" Wow. Searching for love. Yep, that sounded pretty familiar. Being alone on Valentine's Day.....well, that isn't too popular! But I wanted to talk to Jesus about this whole dating/guy issue, so I went to our special spot and just started talking to God. I poured out all of my thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams about relationships in my own life as well as thoughts about God's plan in the midst of these relationships. God distinctly brought a verse to my mind: Song of Songs 2:7, "Don't excite love, don't stir it up, until the time is ripe--and you're ready" (The Message). The New International Version goes like this, "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires." So back to the song's lyrics, why do we search for love when God's Word specifically tells us not to? Possibly because it is just too hard to wait. It isn't easy to say "no" right now in order to say "yes" for God's best. It is easy to conform to society's standards of dating, pursuing guys, and flirting flings. It just isn't easy to say no.
Honestly, it all comes down to a matter of trust and control. Amy Carmichael once said, "It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desire which He creates." God created you to desire love and affirmation, but that comes in His perfect timing. In order to allow this to happen, you must trust Him completely. Waiting for His timing isn't easy though. I completely understand. At times it is even pretty frustrating! It is easy to struggle with self-doubts and to wonder if you are even good enough. In those desperate moments, remember that "what God is doing in you while you wait, is just as important as what you are waiting for." God's ultimate plan is not in making you happy. It is in making you more like Jesus. We all have to grow and growth comes in seasons and stages, but it does happen if you allow it to. Dannah Gresh and Nancy Leigh DeMoss state in their best-selling book, Lies Young Women Believe, that "God's standard of purity is high, but the rewards are worth the price of self-control." They also affirm that "The pain you feel now in the waiting will be the happiness you feel then." God does have a purpose for you. You may be in a relationship with a guy right now and that very well may be God's plan for you. But, you also may not be in a relationship right now. You may be waiting patiently wondering when God will reveal Mr. Right. Hold on tightly to Jesus' words in Song of Songs 2:7. You will be more content and satisfied if you wait for God to awaken love at the right time than if you settle for less than His best for your life.
Why are you looking for love? Why are you searching as if I'm not enough? Where will you go, child? Tell me where will you run? Where will you run? I'll be by your side wherever you fall. In the dead of night whenever you call. And please don't fight these hands that are holding you. My hands are holding you.
If you are by yourself this Valentine's Day, spend some time thanking Jesus for refining and shaping you into who He wants you to be. Take time to pray for Mr. Right. Thank Jesus that He will awaken love in your life at the right time. While you are in this season of waiting, make a list of what you are looking for in a godly guy and stick to your list--even the small, minute details matter! Write a love letter to your future husband. He will cherish this act of 1 Corinthians 13 love for forever. Practice what love really looks like. It doesn't come in a chocolate-covered package with a stuffed teddy bear. Love comes in the name of Jesus Christ. Trust Jesus and give Him the key to your heart....that is when love has the ability to truly blossom.