Three hours from Port Augusta to Minlaton. I had planned to listen to a sermon, but just as I was about to play it through the car radio, I felt an urge to sing. So, with the wind whistling loudly through the car, I lifted up my voice to sing.
[Psalm 59:16] – “But I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning…”
What a perfect landscape to be driving through and singing praises to the Lord! The mountain ranges reached towards the heavens, the fields spread out on either side, the skies and their scattered clouds seemed infinite, and the sun illuminated nature all the more. “Jesus, how beautiful are your works, how lovely is Your dwelling place. How you have loved us! How wonderful the works of your hand!”
[Psalm 19:1-6] – “The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.”
I remembered also those whom God loves – the people of Israel, His church, my brothers and sisters in Christ. I felt the keenness of God’s heart towards all people – both those who desire, and those who distain Him. There was no discrimination, but each and every one was loved. The garment of grace was made ready and beautiful, presented free for the people, a gift of abundance for His beloved children.
[Galatians 3:28-29] – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
I remembered individuals and for each, I thanked the Lord, and asked for blessing. Each one seen as separate, yet one with the church; and each one loved personally, grown in individual capacity. When I came to my fiancé, I thanked God for his love – his love for me and for others, the overflow of God’s own gift. As he is loved by God, so he loves those around him – an all-encompassing love that picks up the weak, does not give up on the slow, and is bold to nudge others towards God’s holy throne.
[Philippians 2:1-4] – “Therefore, if there is any consolidation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfil my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
As I thanked God, I remembered His love. I began to proclaim the quality of His love – its intricate facets woven together like the threads in a blanket to fully, completely, tenderly and truthfully satisfy the every desire of the human heart.
[Jeremiah 31:3] – “… Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
God’s love is eternal; strong and unyielding as the grave. It is unconquerable and mighty, a solid foundation that cannot be shaken. It has a confidence that cannot be compared to, and a succulence that cultivates desire. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
[Song of Solomon 8:6] – “Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as unyielding as the grave,
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.”
God’s love is forgiving. It covers all wrongs and casts out fear. It is willing to sacrifice, even when we are undeserving, and it covers anyone who trusts Him with unimaginable worth. It is a love that is willing to humble itself on a cross in order to raise us up to the throne of glory; a love that does not count wrongs to condemn, but delights to forgive every single one.
[Proverbs 10:12] – “Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.”
God’s love is tender, and patient. It rejoices for the single lost sheep that is found, and for the son who returns home. It speaks kindly to the unfaithful wife, and redeems her from slavery. It waits for a turning of heart, but does not give up looking, longing, and calling. It is a love that persists despite any amount of rejection and scorn, a love that is uncompromised and lavished.
[Hosea 2:19-20] – “I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yet, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.”
God’s love is abounding. It cannot be fathomed, but its height and width, and length and depth challenge even what we would call infinity. It is alpha, omega, and a river too deep to cross over dry.
[Ephesians 2:17-19] – “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with the fullness of God.”
God’s love is towards us. He sees our every need. He knows our sitting down and rising up. He knows our weaknesses, and sins, but still He loves us. He works in us every good thing, and His ears are attentive to our cries to Him. His eyes constantly watch over us, and He is never far away. His presence and His love are nearer than a brother’s.
[Hosea 11:4] – “I drew them with gentle cords,
With bands of love,
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck
I stooped and fed them.”
God’s love is His very being. His eyes burn with flames of burning love, and His gaze can be described as nothing else. His love is the fullness of who He is, and perfection is found in Him. God is love, and if we have not love, we do not truly know Him.
[1 John 4:16] – “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
God’s love is like a mountain. In the distance, it is only a hazy shape, a block colour against the sky’s blue palate. Yet, the closer you get, the more detail you see. First, the height and the width of the mountain range, expanding up and across. Then, the specklings of green, brown, and purple on its slope – hints of shrubs, grass and flowers. Closer still, and colour takes shape. The silhouette of trees appear on the mountain’s grand crest. Soon surrounded by the mountain itself, its nearness is tangible with sound, sight and smell. The life that it nurtures is now clearly beheld as the creatures and plants take their root. God’s love harbours life, and is exceedingly grand. It is vibrant with energy, life and understanding. But, like a mountain, its intricate beauty can only be fully beheld when we dare to come close, to abide on its slopes, to be completely engulfed in its hold. It is a close love, a personal love, a beautiful, life-giving love that God has to give; and give it He does, abundantly, freely, in Christ.