Scripture uses a variety of metaphors to paint a picture of God’s love. A parent’s love for a child. A husband’s love for his wife. These are helpful, but they fall short of fully capturing the immensity of God’s love. The best metaphor may be the great oceans of the world.
A little over 100 years ago, 1,000 people were packed into a church in Wales, and a solo voice sang a song by William Rees called “Here is Love” for the first time.
Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Loving-kindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout heav’n’s eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.
Love as vast as the ocean—that’s a picture that finally begins to capture the dimensions of God’s love for me. Did you know the oceans contain 343 quintillion gallons of water? That’s 343 billion BILLION gallons. That’s a lot of water. That’s a lot of love! I’m sure some fancy math that I could never hope to understand went into that calculation. The point is that God’s love is endlessly immeasurable. It’s beyond our comprehension.
Yet for all its incomprehensible vastness, God’s love is so often expressed to us in ways that we can understand perfectly. The weather last weekend—absolute perfection, a kiss from God. An arm around our shoulder when we need it most. A call or visit from a friend. A child snuggling in our arms.
God’s love is not scarce. It’s not about to run out. God is not stingy with His love, rationing it out little by little. God is not controlling with His love, holding it back to punish us. God is lavish and exuberant in His love for us. He begins His communication of love in his creation, and culminates it in the birth, death, and resurrection of His Son. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for a friend. (1 John 15:13).
Any way you look at it, God’s love is extreme. This deep, sacrificial, and boundless love is worth investigating, understanding, experiencing, and sharing.
Prayer: Oh God, your love for us is as vast as the oceans, and yet each of us has felt it in very tangible and understandable ways. Help us to spread it in equally tangible ways to a world in desperate need.