Valentine's Day for Singles
The Imperishable Gift
By Shadia Hrichi
“Happy Singles Awareness Day!” Carol chimed, whisking past my office. I rolled my eyes, vowing never to forgive myself for starting that little Valentine’s Day tradition. It began about four years ago.
While driving to work one Valentine’s morning, the newscaster sprang her greeting onto her bleary-eyed audience, “Happy Singles Awareness Day!” I nearly spit out my coffee. I laughed so hard, I couldn’t wait to share it with all my single co-workers. Big mistake. At first, the office was in hysterics and the morning was priceless. Four years later, not so much. The fact that the novelty has worn seems to have dawned on everyone except, that is, my friend Carol.
Even so, though it might sound strange to some, I actually like both Valentine’s Day and being single. Don’t get me wrong. I sincerely enjoy watching my married and romantically-involved friends relish in the fragrant bouquets of flowers their husbands, boyfriends or hopefuls had delivered to the office that morning. And perhaps one day, it’ll be my turn.
Still, whether married or single or somewhere in between, when gifts are received with a heart of gratitude, the day can be festive for everyone. For some of us, that gift might simply be the gift of laughter.
“For this is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
All of us can be thankful for the side effects of Valentine’s Day: the office smells better and there is always enough chocolate to go around.
Still, the pleasures quickly fade. (Although some, like the worn-out joke, fade more quickly than others.) Within a matter of days, the flowers begin to wilt and die, until only thorns and a puddle of red petals remain. Though the gift was temporary, it was meant to serve as a reminder of the lasting love of the one who sent it.
Each year, as I survey the thorns and fallen petals, I’m reminded of another day and another gift. Jesus, driven by His great love for us, came to Earth to give us Himself. Two thousand years ago, as He hung dying on the cross, a cruel crown of thorns led precious drops of blood to fall onto a thirsty, sin-cursed ground.
Yet remarkably, to God the Father, Christ’s sacrifice served as a pleasing aroma.
“Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2)
Why? It was because, just as the sweet fragrance of roses reminds us of someone’s love, the sacrifice of Christ is a reminder of God’s love for the world. Unlike roses, which quickly fade and fall, never to return, Jesus’ gift, if received with a heart of gratitude, will last for eternity.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade— kept in heaven for you…you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1:3-4, 23-25)
This Valentine's Day, as you survey the flowers and candy and plastic hearts, don't forget to take a few moments to ponder the imperishable gift that was sent by the ultimate lover of your soul. While flowers and chocolate are temporary, the gift of Jesus will last through all of eternity, forever reminding us of the infinite love of the Father who sent Him.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
Shadia Hrichi is a Christian author and speaker who passionately shares God’s promises of hope, healing, and victory with her audiences. She recently published Nameless No More: A Journey of Healing After Abortion, is a CLASS graduate, and regularly speaks at churches, fundraisers, women’s retreats, and other events. She holds a BA in Psychology, MA in Criminal Justice, and is currently attending Western Theological Seminary. More information is available on her website and blog.
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