Today I attended my third wedding in 10 months. Every wedding is different, with it's own unique characteristics as varying as the personalities of the people who are getting married, but one thing that is never missing are those three little words--I love you. Whether spoken in words, or seen in the way the bride and groom look into each other's eyes, weddings are full of love. I had to giggle today when the couple kissed at the end of ceremony, the young ring bearer went "ewwwwww!" All this love stuff was just not appealing to him at all. He was more interested in standing on the edge of the lake watching the boats motoring by.
Still the day took me back to the time when I had been young and in love with a certain farm boy who lived several hundred miles away. I was in school in VA. He was in school in PA. The highlight of every day was my trip to the mailbox. I wasn't looking for cookies from home or cards with a little "mad money" tucked inside. Nope! I was looking for that all familiar handwriting of the one I loved because I knew that mixed in with a little news would be written a million times "I love you." For some reason I never grew tired of hearing those three words when they came from him.
After a few years of separation and almost daily letters and hundreds of dollars in long distance phone bills, we married. But one thing didn't change. I never grew tired of hearing those three little words "I love you."
And now, after being together for over 32 years, I still get the same feeling I got as a teenager every time he says to me "I love you." It just never grows old! Why?? Because I love him too.
Love is a funny thing. It's different from all other emotions. I know people who are just filled with sorrow, with depression, with hate or anger, or who are downcast almost all the time. And when I push them to tell me why they feel that way, they can't explain it. It's just how they feel. But I've NEVER met a person who is full of love who can't tell me why they feel that way. Every single one of them knows exactly why! Why? Because not only are they loved, but they are loving in return. There's just a lot of love flying around everywhere! When you love someone and you know they love you, you just never grow tired of hearing it! I'm sure this young bride will never grow tired of hearing those words whispered in her ear or shouted from the rooftops! She will never tire of the cards or the flowers or the gifts or the deeds that all scream "I love you!"
In fact, as the Pastor so wonderfully put it in his homily (and yes, we all discovered today that our Pastor CAN preach short! Who knew?), a marriage that is simply based on you loving God and God loving you will never fail. Why? Because God's love is perfect and it NEVER FAILS! So if a marriage is based in and operates out of the love of God, it will never fail either. What a wonderful charge to a new couple just starting out! What a good reminder for all of us experienced married people too.
Who are you loving? Who is it that you are listening for those three little words to come from? Do you ever tire of hearing them?
We are the object of God's love, a love so vast and deep and wide that only one drop of it would flood that beautiful lake where the wedding took place. Every day in boundless ways He tells us that He loves us. Are you listening? Is His the voice you are yearning to hear? Is it His handwriting you run to read each day?
Don't take His love for granted. Don't grow tired of coming into a deeper understanding of His vast and measureless love for you. Don't settle for a pat understanding of knowing that He loved you and died on the cross for you. He waits every day to show you His love in a new and fresh way! Have you grown tired of His love? Do you take it for granted? How are you responding each day to His love?
And how are you communicating love to Him? Are you rushing to that "telephone line" to heaven just to hear His voice and to say "I love you Lord with all my heart, my soul, my might and my strength?" Are you a person that walks daily in love, overflowing with love? Is He the reason for and the object of your affection?
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.
- O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song.
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall;
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call;
God's love, so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam's race—
The saints' and angels' song.
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Words & Music © 1923, Ren. 1951 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.