The Love Of God

January 26, 2011
by Azalia Matheson

Ephesians 3:17b-19 – And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (NIV)

A story is told about a father and his son who were minding their sheep in the highlands of Scotland one spring night. The young son tugged at his father's pant leg and asked, "Daddy, how big is God's love?" The father stopped a moment and then pointed and explained, "Son, beyond these gigantic mountains to the south and farther than the eye can see is England." "Aye," said the boy. Then the dad turned, pointed, and said, "And to the north and beyond, farther than the eye can see is the great Atlantic Ocean." "Aye," said the son. The father hesitated a moment and then said, "Well son, God's love is bigger than both those distances." The young son looked amazed, and with a Scottish smile on his face and looking directly into his father's eyes, he said, "Oh daddy, isn't it wonderful! We're standing right here in the middle of it!" With tears in his eyes, the father picked his son up and hugged him.

We, too, are standing in the middle of God's great love. Let us acknowledge Him as the giver of all gifts, His greatest ones being forgiveness, compassion, and love. I personally was touched by these gifts when we lost our first-born son in a car accident nine years ago. I was broken-hearted, full of sorrow, and almost unable to go on. My face felt frozen, and I could not laugh, sing, or even begin to enjoy having the marvellous blessing of being with my second son, my daughter, and their beautiful families. One night after a family gathering, forlorn and distraught, I went to my bedroom, fell down on my knees again, and asked the Lord to please, please, carry me through this time of hurt and despair and be with me during my grief-stricken, lonely days and my long, silent, tearful nights. My Lord knew the burden I was carrying, weary and exhausted from trying to be upbeat for the rest of my family. I felt His loving arms wrap around me and I heard Him say to me, I am here with My love for you, and I will take care of you. And He did! He listened to my cries of woe and wiped the tears I shed for my son from my eyes. He blessed me by assuring me that though I did have to "get on with life", it was okay for me to be sad and to cry. I knew He understood how my heart ached, for He, too, had watched His mother weep at the foot of the cross because she loved Him.

I knew that God is in control, that all things work together for good for those who love Him, and that our God would see us through the rough waters. That night I was reminded of a song we sang when I was a little girl:

    Wide, wide as the ocean,
    High as the heaven above,
    Deep, deep as the deepest sea
    Is my Saviour's love.

My Saviour's love was and is present in my life, and over time, I have become stronger, still missing my boy and the wonderful time we spent together as a family, but knowing who to go to on a sad and hurtful day, because I remember God's love is wider than the wonderful land of Scotland, higher than those mountains, and deeper than the great Atlantic Ocean.

Prayer: Eternal Lord and friend, humbly we thank You for Your gift of love. You and You alone are the one who can make our days of despair turn into days of relief from our cares and provide us with a new-found love because of Your patience, guidance, and love that is deeper than the ocean and wider than the east is from the west. You and You alone give us spiritual strength in time of trouble and hopelessness. You alone are the giver of salvation to all who love You. We thank You because You are always there, ready to come to our rescue when we call upon You. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

About the author:

Azalia Matheson <themathesons@bellaliant.net>
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

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