Love Letters 4

Tuesday

John Austin Higginbotham

Song of Solomon 2:7

Although others might have different understandings, I view Song of Solomon not as viewing of the relationship between God and man, but of the more literal sense of men and women. When I read of this verse, my first inkling is that one should wait until one is ready to love. To be frank, one should wait until one is mature enough to be in a relationship. Too often nowadays I see people entering into relationships that either they’re not ready for, or that others aren’t ready for. Whether it’s large commitments such as marriage, or simply dating, I think that too many people put their whole being out for others that are not deserving of it or ready to respond in kind. To me, this is a verse of caution, to reserve yourself until you fully understand yourself and those around you. I think it is a beautiful bridge in this book between the various passions of love, to serve as a reminder for everyone out there that if you are not careful, you can be abused and tossed aside. My opinion and prayer is that everyone finds the love of their life, but that they not pursue something that they aren’t emotionally, mentally, or even spiritually ready for. It protects not only yourself, but also those around you.

Lord,

Help us to remember that there is a lot at stake when entering a new relationship. Guide us in becoming who we are made to be in You before we invest too much in another. Allow us to love each other well and be patient through that love. Amen

Love Letters 3

Monday

Amelia Volpe

Song of Solomon 2:7

I’ve often seen a romantic relationship framed in the context of a diagram. A triangle to be exact. The two people interested in each other made up the bottom corners, and God was the top corner. They did this with the intention of showing how a relationship can struggle–rush to the other person too fast, and the whole triangle can collapse. But when all three points–two people and God–all get closer together, the triangle is only strengthened. The metaphor isn’t perfect, but it makes a good point. It’s all too easy to get excited about someone and rush into a relationship, but that can easily lead to distance between you and God. God has a plan for you, and if that plan involves a person for you, you can bet that that plan will happen exactly when it’s supposed to. For years, the books I read and movies I watched had convinced me that my person was right around the corner. With every stranger I bumped into and every person who made eye contact with me in the halls, I was convinced that trumpets were about to sound, confetti about to fall, and the wedding color scheme about to be finalized. It got to the point that I wasn’t even excited to find my person, just a person. Fortunately, God had a plan, and that plan did not involve any of those strangers. Instead, God showed me that I needed to trust Him. I did, and fortunately for the ever-impatient me, God put my person in my life pretty quickly. But it was only after I learned to listen to Him and prioritize Him that God gave me my person. In high school, the relationship triangle was in danger of collapsing every time I talked to a person. It was only when I trusted God with the whole thing that I found my love. The path isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s long and winding, sometimes it’s full of twists and turns, sometimes it’s simple and straightforward. Sometimes you think you’ve reached the end of the path, only to find a new one beginning. Despite all this, the end of that path is always where God wants you.

God, help us to walk the path You’ve created for us at the pace You’ve set. Thank you for giving us the capacity to love so strongly and passionately, and for loving us so much that You have a person in mind for us. Help us to be patient and wise as we follow Your path and allow Your plan to come to fruition. We love You, God, and it’s in Your son’s name we pray, amen.

Love Letters 2

Friday

Sydney Del Rosario

Song of Solomon 8:4, Isaiah 40:31

No one likes to wait. Today, we have so much proof in our society that we do anything to avoid waiting. Just a few examples are self-checkout at the grocery store, microwaves, grocery delivery, fast-forwarding past commercials, and VIP memberships at the movies to skip the line at concessions. Another thing that the world says we shouldn’t have to wait for is love. We are told to go out and find the person we want to be with. But, what if we took a step back, and asked God to show us that person? One of my favorite singer/songwriters, Jamie Grace Harper recently posted something on Instagram that I thought was really neat. She said, “Waiting isn’t something you have to do out of restriction, but instead a choice to wait to enjoy something within context and with freedom.” There is beauty in the waiting. You may feel stuck right now, whether that is because you’re waiting on love, waiting on an answer, or waiting to know if your major is right for you. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, it will be worth it. Embrace the waiting. Isaiah 40:31 says that “those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Wow. That’s the promise God has for us when we wait on him. Hold on to his promises and know He is good. Appreciate what waiting can offer. 

Lord, I am in the waiting and it’s not fun. But, guide me to see the beauty of it. Show me how I can glorify You even in this time of waiting. Remind me of your promises when it gets tough. Your plans are so much greater than mine. Thank you for Your amazing love. In Jesus’ holy name, I pray, Amen. 

Love Letters 1

Thursday

Logan Henderson

Song of Solomon 8:4

I really don’t like this verse. I believe it to be true, but it really sucks. As Valentine’s Day looms ever closer, so do the annual feelings of loneliness, sadness, and “I need to find something fun to do but everyone’s on a date”. It’s not that there’s a problem with everyone else being in love, it just sucks when you’re not. As if that isn’t enough, we’ve got this verse saying not to worry about love until it is ready. Whether you’re in a relationship now or not, you probably remember the sadness that can come with Valentine’s Day and honestly, when I read this verse, I’m thinking “Why isn’t love ready yet??” When we read this verse in context, it’s the woman saying this in response to the love she’s experiencing now. In even greater context though, this is Solomon writing a song, and that guy had almost 1,000 wives, so who is he to talk? Both of these facts can give Valentine’s Day a bit of hope for everyone. For one, if you are in a relationship, enjoy being with the other person and appreciate the love that God has led you to. Worship Him for that relationship. And don’t date 1,000 other people. If you’re not in a relationship, like me, this text is mainly toward you. It means don’t get so caught up in the pursuit of love that you lose sight of what really matters (i.e. school, friends, a career, and God) and remember that the waiting carries with it a hope for a loving relationship. And in the meantime, PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE PEOPLE!!!! Notice it doesn’t say “Stay in your apartment and don’t make friends in your classes while you’re waiting for your number to be called”. So, during Valentine’s Day, remember to worship the God who shows us what real love looks like AND leads us to a love we could never have dreamt of.

God, would you use Valentine’s Day to remind me of the hope You offer me in human relationships, that You believe that it isn’t good for us to be alone. Thank you for community and that there is so much love to enjoy and give to everyone. Give me the strength and knowledge to wait for a romantic love that I, as your child, am worthy of and teach me now how best to love them. I need You throughout this, so remind me that You’re with me through this too. Thank you for all You are and have been to me God.

Amen

Hosea pt 4

Tuesday

Alexi Bolton

Hosea 3:1

Have you ever had a broken heart? I don’t mean just romantically, but there are other ways your heart could be broken like the loss of a friendship or the change in what you thought your life plan was supposed to be.  Whatever it was, you probably know what I mean when I say it’s excruciatingly painful – the type of thing you wouldn’t wish on Alabama Hannah, even if she is giving us a bad reputation on the Bachelor. Hopefully, you also know that it gets better. (If you don’t know that, consider this your standing invitation to come talk with any of us at Wesley about it) Courtesy of the Valentine season, think of the heartbreak God feels when we give Him our heart one day and take it away the next day. Insert the story of Hosea. Hosea is an old testament prophet that God instructed to marry a prostitute. And so Hosea did and he loved her like crazy. But, she cheated on him time and time again and every time Hosea was heartbroken. But, God told him to go get her back (3:1). We are told countless times throughout scripture that our God is a jealous God. He wants all of us and when we split our love or gifts or make other things more important than Him that breaks his heart. Not because He doesn’t want us to be happy or enjoy life, but because he knows that the love He is offering us will bring so much more joy than the cheap imitation we get from other sources.  Plus, if we truly love God like we say we do, why would we put Him through the pain of heartbreak over and over again?

God, help me to stop breaking Your heart. Show me where I have put other people/things before you, and give me the strength to restore the right order; loving You above all else. Amen

Hosea pt 3

Monday

Hosea 1:6-9

Names are powerful things. Think about names or labels that you have either assumed or been given. Daughter. Student. Lame. Scatter-brained. Flexible. Strict. Fun. Quiet. Sometimes we pick these labels. Other times they happen to us. It can be really easy to follow along with that narrative, to just say, ok, I am this or that. This week, instead of following the world’s names for you, follow His name for you. You are God’s child. You are made in His image. Live into that. Don’t worry about conforming. Be different, because you were made to be different. Yes, God gave Hosea’s children these names in this scripture. But read a little further, and you’ll see that this is not the final word. God redeems us through His incredible grace and love, empowering us to shake off those old names and assume our true names in Him.

Lord, You are incredible. Your everlasting love endures forever. Help me to remember You this week as I think about what’s in a name. Guide me to see that I have only one name, one identity that truly matters. Help me to see the freedom and joy that can bring. In Your name, Amen.