Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "At Thy Feet Our God And Father"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (NIV)
Recently, I lost my wedding ring. For over 43 years, it had seldom been off my finger, but at the end of that day, I looked at my hand and felt my stomach knot. Having already been evacuated once this summer by a forest fire, I had spent the day trying to protect our home better by cutting low branches off our evergreen trees and taking trailer loads of branches and fallen needles and cones to the dump. Gloves had been off and on many times. Where had I lost it?
It was the most important ring I owned, but after all, I thought, it was only a ring. But then, I was suddenly deeply reminded of how it symbolized my love for and commitment to my wife, and how it was so much part of our whole relationship. This caused me to think about our marriage and the ups and downs that are part of life and any relationship, and I found myself thinking at a deeper level — a "1 Corinthians 13" level — about my love towards my wife. I'm human; I'm not perfect (ask her!); there have been many times and ways that I've fallen short of what God has said here through the apostle Paul. Perhaps it would do me well to meditate on these words more deeply, more often, and seek His help in living these words better.
As you read this, you may or may not be married, and your experience is different than mine, of course. But married, single, divorced, widowed, young or old, we all have in our lives family and friends with whom we wish and strive to live in a loving relationship. Personally, I've found that this Scripture shouldn't be left to wedding ceremonies only. It is God talking to me and to us about His love and ours — good stuff, important stuff for each day.
P.S. That night in my office, there was my ring on my Bible, where I'd laid it the night before due to aching joints.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your Word to us. It is wonderful, and it is so practical. Help us to treasure it so much that we live it in our daily lives. Thank You, Father, for the people in our lives whom we love so deeply. Amen.