What a sweet time of year it is! With treats around every corner, it’s easy to keep reaching for a sweet, but what happens when they run out?
Growing up, we had a crystal cookie jar. Yes, crystal! It was impossible to open that jar without alerting my mother (and maybe the whole house) to the fact that I was sneaking a cookie before dinner, which of course was against our rules. Believe me, my sister and I tried everything: muffling the lid with a towel, pulling the lid off quickly, pulling it off slowly. No matter what we did, the clang of the crystal glass would always happen in one way or another causing an echo to ring across the house. Wherever mom was in the house, we would hear her call out our names and we knew that we had been caught. Rats!
As kids probably one of our best dreams would be to have an unlimited supply of cookies in the cookie jar— with unlimited hours of availability. Thank goodness, our parents knew better than to allow us to afford us that luxury as it would not be healthy in the long term. 😆
But wouldn’t that be just dreamy? A cookie jar that we could reach into that would never run out? I guess the only better thing was a cookie jar with tasty calorie-free cookies! 😉
Well, we do have an “unlimited cookie jar” of sorts. No not a physical cookie jar (I can hear your sighs of disappointment) but rather there is an everlasting container that holds just what we need, and it never ever runs out. In this “jar” we find the unconditional love of God that’s always stocked! It doesn’t matter if it is Valentine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July or just a plain old ordinary day in-between. It’s always stocked— crammed packed— with the unconditional love of God. Now that’s a sweet treat! (And no cavities either!) No matter how many times we dip our hand into this “cookie jar” it will not run out. Even with the crystal laid ringing and alerting others…there will always be more of that sweetness within the jar. And unlike the cookies that were not allowed before dinner, there is never a limit to the amount of times you open this jar of unconditional love or when or where you can access it. Now doesn’t that just make your little seven year old heart sing? Unlimited cookies of God’s unconditional love! That sounds pretty good.
Here’s some favorite “Valentine Verses” all about the love of God. (Good news- they apply to us all year long!)
It’s obvious through these verses that God’s love is so GREAT, undeserved, enduring and everlasting. Now, that is one amazing kind of love. In fact, God’s kind of love is referred to as Agape Love.
Agape Love is the unconditional love of God that’s there for us. No matter what. It’s not an earned kind of love or a falling in love kind of love even though it can feel like that.
It can feel like the excitement like that of a first falling in love yet it outlasts that “newlywed” season and is so much more steady, strong and sure– perhaps like married couples who have proven the test of time.
Have you ever watched the show were teams race around the world completing challenges for the chance at a lump sum of money? The teams, usually made up of couples, either will be teams that work together or attack each other— either to their team’s betterment or their team’s detriment. There’s often young couples or people deciding if they’re going to marry as they race around the world. And more often than not, because their relationship is just newly starting out— they don’t know how to work together. They often don’t know how to unconditionally accept each other, inspire each other or encourage each other that well. Then every once and awhile there’s an older couple in the race. Perhaps they will not last long on the race because of the physical demands, but the entire time you see them treat their partner well with respect and unconditional love, many times showing and conveying with their words, the importance of the relationship above the race. That kind of love is steady and sure. That’s the kind of love I’ve seen between my grandparents who met when they were in fifth grade and who will soon be celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary. And also my own parents who met as teenagers— set up because they were both those “crazy Christians” of mutual friends. Immediately their relationship was based on the Lord and the passion and fire in their hearts for him. It’s the kind of love I see between my husband and I, as well. It’s a love that grows and love that steady and true. (Remind me to post our story about how we met… it is Ah-mazing!) ❤️
Even though a human can’t ever convey the depth of unconditional love that God can, we can see from this example, how steady, true, strong, and supportive unconditional love can be in our lives.
So whether you celebrate Valentine’s with your honey after many years of marriage or if you are spending your first Valentine’s with a new special someone or if you’re celebrating with your children, or even celebrating on your own— God’s sweet jar of unconditional love is filled for you. So come take off the crystal lid and dip your hand in and then dip it in again. Grab hold of this sweet love that God has for you. His love is more than enough. His love has conquered oceans and has conquered every problem to reach us. His love is the deepest, steadiest, most true unconditional love that we will ever receive in our lives.
Thank you God for your unlimited supply of unconditional love for each of us. Thank you that your unconditional love never runs out. It’s not limited to certain times or certain seasons. It’s always there for us. Open our eyes so we can see the truth of this. Speak your words over us so that we can experience your unconditional love in a deeper, fuller, and stronger measure than ever before. In Jesus name, Amen.
Also, you know how that crystal lid caused a clang to ring out around the house? When we reach for the lid on our “unconditional love” jar, it causes a clang too! People all around us hear it, see us dip our hand into something so wonderful they might not understand it. It’s our opportunity to invite them to the jar of God’s unconditional love. They can dip in too, maybe for the first time experiencing the love of God. Oh, they will be addicted to the sweetness from the start. So invite others to dip into that jar of unlimited supply of God’s love today!
Until next time,
PS. Here are a few of our pictures over the years of the kids enjoying Valentine’s. Each year, the kids go down to the table and there’s always something sweet as well as a special book on the table. And don’t forget the special card– it expresses how much we as a parents love and treasure them. And of course, Telly and I exchanged cards as well. What a special day to share the love, not just natural love but the wonderful, unconditional love of God.
PPS. One of our favorite cookies to reach for in the cookie jar are these oversized soft sugar cookies. They are a family favorite to decorate and enjoy at any time but especially perfect for making a special cookie valentine. ❤️ I dare you to give them a try!
Or find the recipe online at http://peppermintplum.blogspot.com/2011/03/thick-soft-sugar-cookies.html?m=1