I was tempted to celebrate Singleness Awareness Day with some sort of witty post like,
“The Top 10 Reasons Why Singleness Is A Blessing”
“Don’t Wish Away These Years”
or something along the lines of “DON’T YOU DARE BE SAD TODAY”.
But I don’t feel like it. Partly because I woke up this morning and completely forgot it was Valentine’s Day, and partly because there is something that matters so, so much more than romance. Yes, even today.
Do you know what I woke up this morning thinking? “God, please help me have a clear head today. Give me good time in your word, and give me peace in your promises.”
I have been suffering through stress headaches like crazy. After four years of college, I allowed myself to overload my schedule like a mad-woman and it took a serious toll on my brain. Suddenly, senior year hit and I couldn’t handle it all anymore. The whole “fight the good fight of business” thing just didn’t make any sense to me anymore.
And it began to take a toll on me physically. Nothing hit me worse than my sudden inability to be present, in the moment. My head would begin to “short-circuit” when in big crowds or faced with a long reading assignment. I had simply given it far too much to worry about and face for these past 4 years, and it was finally so sick and tired of it all.
And it began, in its own special way, to say to me, “Maddie, stop. Slow down. Rest.”
So that’s what I thought about as I awoke today. And I realized that nothing, not even a dozen red roses, would make me happier than finding rest in the promises of the Lord today. I realized that my prayers lately have had absolutely nothing to do with men and instead have had everything to do with health. My health. My mind and thoughts and utter exhaustion.
And the realization that nothing will give me that rest and healing but intimacy with my Lord.
And so this morning, I thought of Him.
This is not just another singleness post because I don’t want to talk about singleness.
I want to talk about God.
You know, we try so hard to convince ourselves that things matter more than Him. Especially on Valentine’s Day.
But I’m here to say, in echo of the Bible, that nothing does.
I don’t care if the love of your life gets down on his knee tonight and pops out a rock the size of a small boulder, it still doesn’t matter more than knowing God.
I think of Philippians 3:8:
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
Can we just sit here for a minute?
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that Paul, in some way, enjoyed the humiliation of himself in light of Jesus. In fact, just verses before, he brags about who he used to be.
If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
Beneath all of those million-dollar christianese words, Paul is basically saying:
“I HAD IT GOING FOR ME.”
He was prideful, the top of his class. The AP student of the Jewish high school he attended.
And then Jesus came into his life, and you know what happened?
In humanly standards, his life completely and utterly fell apart.
Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.
Three times I was beaten with rods.
Once I was stoned.
Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hinger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
And yet, what?
“Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
Can I take stab here and point our that Jesus doesn’t owe us anything? We are entitled to absolutely nothing. I don’t care how many years you’ve patiently waited and slowly but surely become “the kind of person that the person you want to marry wants to marry”.
All that we have is because of Grace. Common grace that makes the sky blue and grass green, and saving grace that holds our souls fast and allows us to say “It is well”. Have we done anything to earn it?
Do you know what I hope captivates your heart and mind today, this February 14th? Grace. Whether you are married with 5 kids or single as a Pringle, I hope that you are captivated by Grace.
I hope that you consider all a loss compared to knowing Jesus. I hope that you celebrate your intimacy with the One who loves your soul.
Happy Valentine’s Day.