Before Facebook began automatically changing <3 into cute pink hearts, I was confused by this cultural nomenclature. When my friends would use this in their statuses, or in comments, I wondered if they were okay. Was there a computer glitch confusing mathematical symbols for letters? Once someone clued me in, the <3 became one of those pieces of useless information cluttering my brain.
That is until I started viewing the Bible as a collection of notes that God signs “<3, God.”
Before you start wondering if I’m okay, let me explain.
A couple of years ago, I was struggling with guilt over past sins. Nothing too shocking by this world’s standards, however, as I had (once more) begun to light the path of my life with God’s Word, regret over my past behaviors had become a stumbling block.
On a phone call with a friend, I confessed my fear that I would yet again be enslaved to the sin of my past. I admitted that this fear, guilt, regret held me back. My friend, usually a joyful person, very firmly and seriously stated, “Karen. You are in Christ. You are a new creation. The old Karen is gone. The new Karen has come!”
Frankly, I had no idea how to respond. So, I didn’t.
After we hung up, I looked up the verse my friend relied on, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and read it silently. I read it again out loud. I read it for a third time, again out loud, and kept reading through verse 19. I read it once more but this time, I replaced “anyone” with “you.”
And, there it was. The words on the page became an encouraging note from God. One that He knew I would need so He wrote it for me.
My head is very thick. If I want to remember something, I should write it down. If it is very important, I should write it down in large letters and put it where I’ll see it – often.
So, I wrote this very important, salvation-in-Christ revealing message on my bathroom mirror. Not only did I see it often and read it aloud often but I also saw me. As those beautiful words sunk in, when I considered how only Christ’s death on the cross could reunite God and His children, I started to see the new creation that, through Christ, God had made in me.
I’ve since done this with other verses: When I need courage (Joshua 1:9), when my self-reliance increases and my God-reliance decreases (John 15:5), when I just want to know that God loves even me (Romans 5:8). Always, I end with <3, God.
When the flaming arrows fly my way, I peacefully stand in God’s Word: In His perfect, infallible, forever-enduring Word. In the face of Satan’s false accusations, I strap on the belt of truth that tells me, and anyone who is in Christ, that the old has gone; the new has come! All because God <3’s all of us.
See You In The Round!