And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.
Have you had difficulty getting some items from the shops during the Lockdown? When the time came when it was likely that we would be confined to our homes, some people went out to stock up on their food and other items. They wanted to make sure that they had enough to last them weeks. Many items, from rice and pasta to toilet rolls became difficult to find. Shortage of things plays on people’s minds – and in case they had to fill their cupboards
The year following the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia friends of ours from Prague came over for a break. Pavel was a pastor, and he and his wife, Vĕra, had been under intense pressure under Communist rule. So, we’d found a house that was free for a couple of weeks for them to be able to stay and relax without worry.
After they arrived Vĕra asked my wife if she would take her to do a little shopping – just to get a loaf of bread, milk, and a few other items. They wouldn’t be long. An hour and more later there was no sign of them, and Pavel and I were wondering what had happened to them When they eventually returned, we found out what had happened.
They’d gone to the local supermarket, and Vĕra had been used to shortage of food under the Communists. She was amazed at the great variety of food here – there were so many different types of bread, a choice of cheeses, butter, meat, jams – she’d never seen such an abundance of food. The freezers were full of a choice of ready meals, the shelves were full, and the fruit and vegetables looked so clean and fresh! She was entranced, and we learnt that when Vĕra went shopping she had to see everything. She didn’t want to miss a thing.
Sometimes, when we are left without, we may doubt whether God has forgotten us. Has He run short of blessings to share with us? Can his love reach our situation, or our lives?
The apostle Paul wrote of his longing the Christians in Ephesus should see and understand that there is never a shortage in God’s love. He tells them of his prayer that they might have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, (Ephesians 3:18) You can never be disappointed in Him, and believe that he is withholding good things from you.
Paul in another place writes: He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
O love of God, how deep, how great,
Far deeper than man’s deepest hate;
Self-fed, self-kindled like the light,
Changeless, eternal, infinite!
We read thee best in Him who came,
To bear for us the cross of shame,
Sent by the Father from on high,
Our life to live, our death to die.
This means that, if he withholds something from us – something we think we need, he is keeping it back for our good. If our freedom is kept from us now, could it be because He wants us to take time to listen to His voice calling upon us? If we are unable to venture out to see our friends and families, could it be that we’ve taken much for granted, and He wants us to remember that we are mortal, only here for a short time, and we need to consider eternal issues. Because the essence of love is relationship – a relationship where love may flow from one to another. That is what God longs to see in us – His love filling our lives, and us responding in love to Him.
There is in God’s love length, breadth, height, and depth that we cannot fully comprehend. When I take the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin, I always stare down at the see – I can look into the depth, but I cannot see the bottom. Last night I looked up in the clear sky at the stars – I looked up into the height, but I could not see the outer limit of the universe.
So, we can look at the depth and height of God’s love in Jesus Christ, but we will not see the bottom nor the outer limit. There is no shortage in his love.
Dafydd Job, Capel y Ffynnon