Faithful Lord, as we appreciate your availability, may we learn always to be available to each other. Amen.

But Why?

It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love upon you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples; but it is because the Lord loves you, and is keeping the oath which he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. --Deuteronomy 7:7-8

Shirley and I had dated nearly three months, and our relationship progressed nicely. We did things together. We talked. We prayed.

When did I start loving her? I have no idea. The consciousness of it came to me as I sat across a table from her during a Bible-study group. I had to leave early and didn't get to say good-bye. Just before I left, our eyes met, and we held that look. I knew then that I loved her. Somehow I knew from the expression in her eyes that she loved me, too.

Later I thought about it. I knew why I loved her. I could think of hundreds of reasons for loving her. But I just couldn't figure out why she loved me. A Christian as committed as Shirley could have had many others. But she had loved me. Why?

We've now been married a quarter of a century, and I still haven't answered the question. Just as well. It doesn't have an answer. It's enough to say, "She loves me."

I caught on to this through reading Deuteronomy 7 one evening. God prepared to take the Israelites into the new land, and he called them a holy people (that is, a people which he had separated for himself). He told them he had chosen them, but not because they were a great nation. In fact, he reminded them, "You were the fewest of all peoples." Then he told why he chose them: "It is because the Lord loves you."

If we can figure out a reason for God's love, we haven't truly understood love. We have no claims on him. We have no right. We don't deserve anything. Once we grasp that fact, we can appreciate the depth of his love.

God loves us, that's all we can say.

When we come right down to it, we can't really explain why we love each other any more than we can explain why God loves us. But then, does it really matter? Isn't it enough just to know?

Lord, thank you that ____________ loves me. I don't understand why she/he loves me, any more than I understand why you love me. But I accept you both. Amen.

Please also see: Invading the Privacy of God devotionals by Cecil Murphey, every Monday on Crosswalk.

Excerpted from Devotions for Lovers by Cecil B. Murphey, Spire Books, 1982. Used with permission from the author. 

Cecil Murphey has written dozens of books on a variety of topics with an emphasis on Spiritual Growth, Christian Living, and Caregiving. He enjoys preaching in churches and speaking and teaching at conferences around the world. Cec loves meeting the people who have benefited from reading his books, saying that interacting with them stimulates his mind and nourishes his soul. He lives in the Atlanta area with his wife Shirley, a wonderful woman and former editor. They have three grown children.