Today’s Reading: John 19:17-18 (NIV)
17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 Here they crucified him, and with him two others – one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
A long time ago, out in the middle of the woods, I took a sharp knife and carved a heart and arrow in the center of a large tree trunk. There is something significant about an ingrained, permanent mark on a tree that has withstood time and the generations. I’m certainly not the greatest artist, but I will confess to being a hopeless romantic. When I carved my initials with Jeff’s initials on the tree trunk that day, I prayed our love would last forever. Thirty-one years later, Jeff still loves me! It is truly possible for two people to give their hearts away to each other forever.
The remarkable thing about everlasting love is the wonder that someone would choose to love another for life. When we got married thirty-one years ago, I was a whole lot younger and a lot less wrinkled than I am today. It is easy to fall in love in the days of youthful splendor, when life and love are new. It becomes more difficult as the challenges of daily living interrupt and sometimes thwart hopes and dreams. We find ourselves struggling with health issues, finances, and careers; the needs of extended family and children begin to tug and pull on our time and energy.
Jeff has seen me at my best and worst. He chooses to love me every day, no matter the weather conditions outside or inside our home. It could be stormy or sunny, hot or cold; yet his love for me remains sure. Jeff doesn’t base his love solely upon my good looks or lack thereof; and for me, this is a precious and treasured gift. He sees me for who I am, and he believes in all I can be. His investment of time and tender nurture has helped me grow day by day. Jeff’s love has impacted my life like no other. What a miracle it is to know love for a lifetime.
Jesus’ heart was carved on the cross of Calvary that day at Golgotha. Flesh and blood became ingrained on the splintering wood with spikes and rope and a crown of thorns. God’s heart was carved upon the tree of life. Christ remains fully committed to saving the Ones who hung Him there. His love has stood the test of time and it remains solid and sure for all eternity. His miracle of love has ingrained itself upon the hearts of humanity. Do you know what it feels like to be loved by Almighty God? Take a closer look at the blood-stained cross today. Ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart. You will see that He has carved your initials with His for all eternity.
Christ’s love stands the test time. His love for you is ingrained forever upon the tree.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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