How Deep the Father's Love For Us2
“The Bible is shallow enough for a child not to drown, yet deep enough for an elephant to swim.”
Ian shared this quote in Sunday school a few weeks ago and it has been resonating in my mind. I believe it relates not only to study of the Bible, but to almost every aspect of God, and our faith in Him. One area where this is clearly demonstrated is God’s love for his people.
God’s love is one of the foundational tenants of Christianity. When we share our faith, regardless of what scriptures we use, what strategies we evoke, and how well we think it does or doesn’t go, we’re really just trying to say, “Jesus loves you.” When we begin to teach our children about everything we believe, we generally start with the idea that “Jesus loves me”, someone even wrote a song about it. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Well, that’s pretty simple, right? We can go ahead and move past this, to something deeper and more theological, right?
Not so fast.
While a young child can understand that God is love, even the most respected Biblical teachers do not truly know the immense depths of the love of God. For example, Matt Chandler, an incredible pastor and president of the Acts 29 Network, said this in reference to a photo of his son,
“If I could ever believe, and I mean really believe, that God loves me like I love this boy I might explode.”
What an incredible thought!!! God looks at me the same way I look at my child. God loves me more than I love Eli, and that’s sweet, sleepy Eli. Yet even when I act like running-around-like-a-maniac-all-day-every-day Eli, God loves me more than I can comprehend. This love is manifested in a thousand ways, ranging from small instances of daily grace to the ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
My favorite hymn (hint: check the title) is written about this very subject. In all honesty, I was originally attracted to this song because I thought the chord progression was interesting and I loved playing it on my guitar. Thankfully, these words were on repeat in my heart and mind and fingers, even if I wasn’t paying enough attention to them at first, “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure. That he would give his only son, to make a wretch his treasure.” I could go on and on, but you know the song.
If you know me very well, you know I love music. What a thoughtful Father we have, using something we love to show how much he loves us. I hope we all can find individual ways to relate to our Father. As I conclude, I want to share one more hymn lyric that beautifully illustrates the vastness of our God and his never ending love.
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.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
It shall forever more endure.
How would our hearts/lives/faith change if we had a stronger grasp of God’s love for us?