The Last Thing I Want Is A Valentine’s Day Devotion
By Dot Bowen
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Mark 14:34 (NIV)
If Valentine’s Day is a day you wish would go away, I truly understand! So let’s call this is a note from me to you instead of a Valentine’s devotion! As a woman leading a ministry for women, I often sit across the table from women whose hearts are broken. Broken because they feel they do not have someone to love. Broken as they struggle with feeling that God has abandoned them. Brokenhearted.
In last week’s devotion, I wrote about Leah who never felt loved by Jacob. (Read “Seeking Love” if you missed it.) What I hope you notice in this story is the detail that Leah was married! I have heard more married women express a longing to be loved than single women. I have also found over the years that the desire to be loved is universal. We all have a desire to be loved and to share our lives with someone special. This desire is not wrong! Nor is it wrong to feel sad when this desire goes unmet. The sadness we feel is real and it is okay to be sad.
There are several occasions in Scripture where Jesus displays sadness and even a specific situation when Scripture notes that He wept (John 11:35). One of the most precious events Jesus shared with us focuses on an occasion when He was exceedingly sad. In this instance, Jesus knew He would soon face the most dreaded moment of His life. He knew God would look away as our sins came upon Him. Knowing this, He asked His disciples to pray for Him. These friends walked with Him for three years and vowed to never deny Him. But they couldn’t keep their eyes open to pray for the very One for whom they declared they would die. Had the disciples remained awake, they would have heard Jesus cry out and ask His Father to change His situation. Jesus experienced such extreme anguish that his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the very ground He created (Luke 22:44).
Some people question if being sorrowful is sinful. Jesus was not only sorrowful, He wanted His circumstances to change. This is very important because—unlike us—Jesus knew the future. Jesus knew he would die and three days later He would be resurrected. Jesus willingly chose to die for us, but in His flesh, He wished for another way. Jesus absolutely understands your desire for your circumstances to change. So since Jesus was sorrowful, I don’t believe being sorrowful is sinful.
Jesus—who was and is perfect—experienced what some of you may be experiencing today: sorrow. If you are dealing with a broken heart, let me encourage you by reminding you that your circumstances do not determine who you are. God’s love for you gives you value. His Son gave His very life for you! You are greatly loved by the source of love! If or when each of us is given a person here on earth with whom we can share special moments, their love must not be the determining factor of our self worth.
No matter your current circumstance, go get some chocolate and enjoy the freedom of being who you are. You are loved by God!
Further Reading Mark 14:32-42