I’ve had many “first loves” in my life! There was my first boyfriend in kindergarten (I recall his kindness but not his name), the first time I remember falling in love with the beauty of nature, the feel of my little hand in my daddy’s strong hand, experiencing the love of creating beauty through art, first girlfriends after having all brothers, having a 15 year old boy woo me who later became my husband for 18 wonderful years before his death, holding my first born (and each one after that) and gazing into their eyes, being surprised by love again by my present husband of 22 amazing years when I didn’t think it was possible, discovering how deeply I could love his children (as much as the ones I gave birth to), handing over our children over to their spouses and finding I loved their mates as much as my own, being present at the birth of each of my grandchildren and falling in love all over again, the joy of having our son and daughter-in-law adopt three children at once and loving them all at once as deeply as if they had been born into the family, leaving more than one church that I so deeply loved only to discover a new one that I could fall in love with as much as the first, savoring the joy of writing, teaching each new child is also like a first love because I have never had that particular child before…
Yet there are words straight from You, Lord, in the Bible from Revelation 2:4-5 that has pierced my soul each time I happen to read it: “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent, and do the things you did at first.” Lord, I recall the first time as a young girl when I gave my life to You. I was incredibly grateful that You heard my cries when no one else heard and saved me from the abuse of a family friend. I remember dancing with unbridled joy as a young adult when Your Spirit within me rejoiced upon me making You Lord of my life. I recall when I couldn’t wait to run to You in prayer when going through extreme challenges for an extended time. Nothing or no one else could give me all You do when I run to Your strong tower!
You were there forming me in my mother’s womb, loving me first before anyone else even knew me. You have been faithful throughout my whole life. You never leave me or forsake me. You have always been with me and always will be…for all eternity. You created me, woo me, surround me with rich blessings, and delight in sharing Your Spirit with me. You loved me first. In fact, all love flows from You first. You walk with me in the garden of this life and are preparing an eternal place for me—with You even now. Forgive me when I place another love before You—whether it is a person or place or activity. I long to love You in a way worthy of the love You give me. Help me keep You as my FIRST love. The funny thing is when I do, I can love all my other “firsts” so much deeper! I love You, Lord!
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” Revelation 2:2-5
“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it” Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” Matthew 22:36-40
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Lord, are You my first love? Show me who/what I have put before You?