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"Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good, his love is eternal." Psalms 136:1
What is the difference between like and love? A wiseman was once asked by his followers. To which he replied that if we like a flower, we will pluck it but if we love the flower we will water it.
Well said! To like is an on the spot feeling which may have a prolonged validity but to love is something as deep as the roots that go far underground. It is valid upto the next life forever in time. To love is to water, cultivate, grow and bloom forever those emotions that can never wither away.
Love is an enclosure of feelings not just in the physical space in between but its branches protude into the ticking cells of the heart. A glance from our loved one in our direction can mean volumes and lift us into the very clouds on high.
We too enjoy silently watching and following the trail of our beloved as our hearts can be pulled in that one direction only.
Jeremiah said it aloud in 31:3 that God has loved us with an everlasting love. The promise of love by God is so great when he told the Israelites on their return home (31:10-12); "Nations, listen to me, and proclaim my words on the far-off shores. I scattered my people, but I will gather them and guard them as a shepherd guards his flock. I have set Israel's people free and saved them from a mighty nation. They will come and sing for joy on Mount Zion and be delighted with my gifts- gifts of corn and wine and olive-oil, gifts of sheep and cattle. They will be like a well watered garden; they will have everything they need."
The Lord never deserted his people even when they turned away from him. Like a loving Father he gathered them back into his arms. When Jesus came down on earth he did the very same thing. He loved the flock entrusted to his care and ensured that none of them would be lost.
He preached day and night to save the human race and make them turn away from their sins. With His ultimate gift of Himself on the Cross, He proved a Love everlasting for generations yet to exist.
This everlasting love destroys death forever and replaces it with everlasting life. It extends to those who were in the earth much before the coming of the Lord. We read in Isaiah 26:19; "Those of our people who have died will live again! Their bodies will come back to life. All those sleeping in their graves will wake up and sing for joy. As the sparkling dew refreshes the earth, so the Lord will revive those who have long been dead."
What greater promise do we need than to know that death has been conquered and rendered powerless with the Resurrection of Christ. The victory sign to be forever in place and never to be toppled again.
The Song of Solomon or Song of Songs is a beautiful collection of love poems which were often attributed to the love between God and his people and the love between Christ and his bride which is the Church.
In the First Song 1:3 a far deeper meaning line says; "There is a fragrance about you; the sound of your name recalls it." Such poetic depiction of love!
When a man or woman think about the one they love, the name of the person is enough to stir feelings that cover over their very soul spreading the sweet scent of love so that even when they take the name on their lips, there is a honeyed tone to it.
Leo Tolstoy once said; "He felt now that he was not simply close to her but that he did not know where he ended and she began." Emily Bronte topped it with the icing when she said that; "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."
An everlasting love is one soul in two beings, one heart well into the other's heart, one mind that thinks the same thoughts.
In an abounding declaration of love, William Shakespeare said; "I love thee, I love but thee. With a love that shall not die. Until the sun grows cold and the stars become old."
Also as people of a mighty God, we are the fragrant offering that pleases him with our good deeds and prayers offered up to his altar. The Church is likewise the fragrance of Christ that encompasses all those who believe in the Son of Man.
This fragrance is not only an earthly fragrance but heavily tinged with the essence of heaven.
We further read in 1:15; "How your eyes shine with love." We all know that love is best seen in the eyes.It is appropriately said that True Love begins with the eye and settles in the heart.
We also know that the eyes of God can penetrate through our thoughts right to the marrow. Nothing is hidden from him.
When we lift our love filled eyes to Him, the radiance from His being shines on our face. His love dazzles us from head to toe and we are transfigured in our own humble way.
George Moore summed up love with these words; "The hours I spend with you I look upon as sort of a perfumed garden, a dim twilight, and a fountain singing to it. You and you alone make me feel that I am alive. Other men it is said have seen angels, but I have seen thee and thou art enough."
Truly, when we have the Love of God and His perpetual presence with us it is more than enough for us.
The Psalms too speak of God's constant love for us. King Solomon wrote most of these Psalms which are a series of love, praise and thanksgiving prayers to God.
Psalms 103:17 says; "Those who honour the Lord, his love lasts forever, and his goodness endures for all generations, of those who are true to his covenant and who faithfully obey his commands."
We can well summarize that if God's love is so infinite, never changing and always remaining, we too ought to love him back in the same proportion of everlasting magnitude.
As Gloria Gaither said; "Line by line, moment by moment, special times are etched into our memories in the permanent ink of everlasting love in our relationships."
These moments of love begin at birth and are collected over the lovely time that we spend on our journey in this world in a never fading engraving of forever lasting love that the soul will continue to uphold in the memory vault of heaven when we behold Love with its everlasting wings in the domain of the Heavenly Lamb.
To conclude with a famous phrase; "No measure of time with you will be long enough but let's start with forever."
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