May I confess that when it comes to my beloved bride my gifts are either home runs or complete whiffs? All the gifts are chosen after much analysis and thought, and that may be part of my problem. I use logic to select a practical gift, one that will address a need for her or encourage her in some pursuit or make her life easier. Above all, the gift must convey this message, “I love you!”
Shawn’s a good sport, but when I whiff I know. Like the Christmas morning with the shiny new hedge trimmers sharpened, oiled, and wrapped in miles of newspaper and duct tape. I knew how much she loved her azaleas and how hard trimming with hand pruners had become. I thought I had a winner of a gift. At least I was smarter than my friend whose wife announced after the Thanksgiving the start of her new diet. For Christmas that man gave his bride a top of the line bathroom scale with three inch red LEDs. No one ever found his body.
To mark our 25th anniversary I determined to buy Shawn a bigger diamond ring. She wanted a rock for sure, but not a diamond. The ring I gave her in 1980, charged with sentimental value to such a level that nothing could take its place, was ring enough. What Shawn wanted was granite counter tops in her kitchen. I saw my chance to knock a grand slam. The craftsman who cut the nooks and crannies in that heavy stone had pieces left over. I hid them in the garage, chose the best, chiseled a rough heart shape and set out to have it polished and mounted in a romantic necklace. Shawn would have the counter tops and a token of my love to wear.
Yes, ladies, I hear you laughing. Somehow Shawn found out about the secret project and pulled the plug before I traveled too far down Bad Idea Street.
I keep swinging, though, strikes or not. She’s worth it. See, I love her, and though she knows that truth, I want to demonstrate the love in tangible ways.
The Old Testament prophet, Hosea, wrote about pursuing the one we love. Poor guy! His wife cheated on him then plummeted into a life of depravity. Hosea pursued her and brought her home. His story demonstrated to Israel how God felt about their spiritual unfaithfulness. Hosea was certainly qualified to teach us how we should pursue God.
“So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
Hosea 6:3 NASB
Press on. The word conveys the idea of running after or hunting. It describes the motivation to push forward until the goal is achieved. Does that describe the way we pursue God? Is our knowledge of Him increasing with our years? What initiatives have we launched to experience more of Him?
The promise Hosea shared is that God’s ways are certain. He’s not trying to elude us as a prey would the hunter. God wants us to know Him now and more deeply in the future. His going forth is certain and our time with Him should seem as refreshing as a gentle spring rain. These words describe a healthy and vibrant relationship.
What does God want from us? Is there a gift that is just right for the one who literally has everything? Hosea spells out the answer for us.
For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Hosea 6:6 NASB
Gifts are nice, but real love is all about the relationship. Press on!