Another Valentine’s Day has passed, and I suppose I could have blogged about it. But when you’re unattached, the day seems a little less important. I say that without bitterness. It’s just a reflection on where I am at the moment.
It is always a good time to think about love, something so essential to our faith that we don’t let children out of the nursery until they have some Scripture about it. For those of us raised in Christian families, can we even remember not knowing John 3:16? But today, I am meditating on Eph. 3:18-19,
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
I did a bulletin board for this verse a few years and discovered that the verse presents a quandary. I wanted to do some word art to illustrate that God’s love is wide, long, high, and deep. My problem was the word “long”. You can stretch it out to make it long, but then how is it different from wide? You can stretch it UP to make it long, but then it is indistinguishable from high. I know that sounds silly, but trust me, it was a source of aggravation. There is only so much you can do with two dimensional bulletin board.
In fact, we don’t do any better at grasping that love of God in three dimensions either. We can understand 3D size — width, height, depth — but what is the length of God’s love?
According to Albert Einstein, space exists in the third dimension. The fourth dimension is time. What if God wants us to understand that His love fills all four of the dimensions that touch us, even through something as transient and ephemeral as time? What if the length of God’s love is its capacity to stretch from one side of eternity to the next?
It takes some empowering for our thoughts to reach that high. Paul says we need “power to understand,” but also states that all saints should seek that empowering and that understanding. Maturity (completion) doesn’t come through knowing about the love of God. We teach that to toddlers. Maturity comes from experiencing the love of God, and understanding it better and better each time we encounter it.
It comes from knowing that when God stretches out His arms to say, “I love you THIS much,” the whole 3D universe isn’t big enough to hold Him.