In the Twilight Zone episode, “The Chaser”, we find a young man desperate to have a particular woman love him in return. He tried everything to win her heart to no avail. Finally, the young man was introduced to Professor A. Daemon, who offered the perfect immediate gratification solution…a love potion, 100% guaranteed, and only a buck!

For a brief moment, I thought the potion seemed like the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. After all, we could determine who would love us and they would have no say-so in the matter. With only a few drops of the potion, they would find themselves helplessly and hopelessly in love with us despite the extra pounds, fluctuating hormones, or thinning hair– we would have total control! (Okay, maybe I thought about it for more than a brief moment).

And then reality struck my heart much like Cupid’s bow and arrow, for what is love — true love — if it is not chosen for one’s self?

Think about it. How much easier would it have been for God to create an army of “puppets” who were born with a love tunnel vision only for Him? Their only longing was for Him, their only desire, for Him? They wouldn’t know why they loved Him, they just did. Love, however, is not a characteristic of our God, it is our God — He defines it — and He knew if true love was to be reciprocated, it must be done so with a free will. And that’s exactly what He gave each of us.

As I watched “The Chaser” tonight I was overwhelmed once again by the tenderness of my heavenly Father’s heart and His willingness to let His creation choose for themselves whom they would love, even though it would mean heartache, tears, and a certain death for His only Son.

It was the love of Christ that compelled me to drop to my knees one night in a tiny duplex 20+ years ago and receive Him as my Lord and Savior, and it’s that same love today that continues to bring me to my knees in gratefulness, love, and adoration.

No potion required.

We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19