In the mid-90's, country singer and songwriter Joe Diffie had a top-5 hit with John Deere Green. The song is about a boy who climbs atop a water tower "on a hot summer night" and paints on it a huge heart, dedicated to his girlfriend Charlene. Instead of painting the heart red, he painted it in "John Deere Green". As the song continues, they get married, and years later the heart can still be seen on the tower, regardless of what town officials do to try to erase it. The final stanza of the song is as follows:
Now more than once the town has discovered
painting over it ain't no use
There ain't no paint in the world that'll cover it
the heart keeps showing through
That is my favorite verse of the whole song. To me it says, "true love will stick through anything", regardless of how bad circumstances get. Can we expect others to love us to this degree? Can we expect our spouse, kids, friends, and family to love us through thick and thin, no matter how thick we may make things? Believe me, I Have made an absolute mess of situations in the past couple years, and I have found that very few have remained by my side. That is not their fault though, and the only blame I am placing is on myself. But Jesus Christ has never abandoned me, even in my darkest hours.
The big heart of Christ can also never be "painted" over. No matter how much we sin or how terrible that sin may be, His heart for us "keeps showing through". He left the comforts of heaven for earth, traded in His Kingship for slaveship, and suffered and died on the Cross for one reason: To save me and to save you. He did not save us from death, for death would have been a better place than where we were headed. Death would actually have been desirable compared to what we were destined for. We were destined to a forever-state of the most horrible pain and suffering we could ever imagine, and then some! Jesus endured that unimaginable pain so we did not have to suffer, so we did not have to feel those whips on our backs and thorns in our scalps, and so we did not have to feel those sharp, rusty nails piercing our hands and feet. Do you know anyone else who would have loved you or loved me that much? I have to admit, I have done some pretty dumb things to mess up and chase away my true loves recently. But it is such a comfort to know that I can never mess up enough to chase Jesus away. My sins will never have the power to "paint over" His heart for me! Praise Him!
Ephesians 2:4-5 says, "Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ, even while we were dead in our sins-it is by grace you have been saved."
Father, how does a limited human thank an unlimited God for an act of such immeasurable magnitude? You are awesome!! In Jesus name, Amen.