As I write, snow is falling and birds are flocking to the bird feeder. I love the birds, but it’s a one-sided relationship. They can’t imagine that I would love to hold and pet them. Instead they have great fear of me and fly away. They show no appreciation, yet I still refill the feeder.
I think of how much I act like those little-brained birds. I miss many of God’s gestures of love to me, neither acknowledging or thanking Him enough, nor realizing the extent of His love.
The love of God is a concept we struggle to comprehend or fail to appreciate in this life, yet a little child can grasp its meaning. Even the mentally and emotionally challenged can understand, as shown in the following words, penned on the wall of a cell in a mental institution by a former patient:
“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.”
Often people express the love of God in music, not from happiness, but from victory over grief. “It is the fruit of much mental suffering,” to quote George Matheson. In a night of deep anguish, he wrote “O love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee.” Elizabeth Prentiss, frail in body and grieving the loss of two children, wrote “More love to Thee, O Christ.” Charles Wesley, who experienced much tumult in his ministry and also the personal loss of 5 of their 8 children in infancy, wrote many songs on the love of God, including “Love Divine, O Love Excelling” and “Jesus, Lover of my Soul.”
In their grief, these song writers, along with many other song writers, turned to the Bible. There they found that God declares His love loud and clear – a love that is eternal. The Apostle Paul prayed that we “may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19). He also wrote that nothing could separate us from that love (Romans 8:28-29). When early Christians started to get a little off base theologically, John the Apostle took them back to the basics: “God is love. God’s love is revealed in that God sent His One and Only son into the world so that we might live in Him” (1 John 4:9-10).
To think that God loved us so much, He sent His son to save us.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” I John 4:10
About the Writer:
Ruthe Turner serves as the Director of Truett Memorial Library at First Baptist Dallas, where you can find much more information pertaining to the Love of God, as well as stories behind the songs we sing in church. Please visit us, or see our website at http://www.firstdallas.org/library.