This Valentine’s Day my husband decided to get us two tickets to see the Musical, “Beautiful” in Chicago. Since the holiday is also his birthday (which happened to fall on a weekend this year) he thought it might be nice to do an overnight at a Hotel nearby, as well. Now, my husband usually isn’t one to plan many outings, only because I’m the planner and I typically take over in that area. But, it was such a nice surprise to have him take the initiative.
Even though we always celebrate Valentine’s Day, it often times feels like another thing to have to do. Especially, since we have his birthday and my daughter’s birthday all in the same week. Many times I feel myself a little more exhausted & stressed fitting in time to buy gifts, plan nice meals and celebrate. I do think it’s important for everyone to have at least one day when they’re recognized & feel appreciated, so at the same time I feel good being able to plan a special day for my loved ones. The excitement can just get overshadowed by my overwhelming to-do list.
Exodus Chapters 26 through 30 is humble reminders of the love God has for all of us. We learn how God intricately lays out His plans for building his Tabernacle for the Priests and High Priests to worship in. From the construction of its wooden frame with overlays of gold and bronze, to separating it with curtains made of finely woven linen and decorations of colorful embroidery, God beautifully illustrates His vision for His most Sacred Holy Place.
God even outlines exactly how the Priests and High Priests should be dressed, including elaborately embroidered aprons called “ephods” and chestpieces decorated with gemstones. The ephod was to show, symbolically, how the Priests had to carry the burden of the nation on their shoulders, as they were to represent God to His people. A chestpiece was also to be worn by the Priests when seeking counsel from God. I love that God gives the Priests this shield of armor to wear when coming before Him in seeking His counsel and direction. And they are such vivid, visual reminders to the Priests of the importance of their roles in serving God and also of the care that God takes in guiding them in their work.
God took great care in making such detailed plans for His Tabernacle and for His representatives, the Priests. That, to me, is an example of what it means to truly love someone. Love is committing to someone else. It is giving your best to them. It is supporting them. It is listening to them. And God surely showed this through His building of the Tabernacle and preparing it for the Priests to worship in.
These chapters lay out so many highly detailed examples of how God prepares the Priests for the huge responsibility they carry in representing Him. But, ultimately it all points to the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, “the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” Matthew 27:51 (NLT). When Jesus died on the cross and made His ultimate sacrifice for us, there was no longer a barrier between us and God. Jesus gave us immediate access to His Father through the Holy Spirit. That is the most unconditional kind of love that I can think of!
This past weekend, my husband and I took time out for just the two of us. We enjoyed a fabulous show, a romantic dinner and evening together – just the two of us. We didn’t have the kids, or phones, or distractions taking our attention away from the other. It felt, intimate, special and sacred. It revived us and reminded us why we love each other. We created our own special sacred time together.
It was a reminder to me that we just need to do this more often and that neither of us should view it as a chore or another thing to do. It is a reminder that we should be enjoying each other and not trying to squeeze our alone time in together amongst work and kids and all of the other daily obligations. And it also reminded me to thank God for bringing Scott into my life and giving us the resources to be able to enjoy a weekend like we had.
Dear God, You are so amazing in the ways you have armored us in your love. Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus who has given himself up for our sins and who allows us access to you anytime, any day and any hour. Please help me to remember that and to not let life overshadow the important things, like giving my husband my best in the alone time we spend together. Help me to know when we can let go of things on our to-do lists, in order to take time out to enjoy one another. I ask these things in your name Dear Lord, Amen.