The ocean makes me nervous. I really don’t like movies where people are lost at sea—especially if they’re stuck on some sort of tiny raft and no one knows how to find them. How awful would that be? The sky, huge above you, could release a storm at any moment. The waves stretch out in every direction, with no end in sight. And you know the water goes down, down, down for miles, and there are thousands of creatures you can’t see or even imagine—some of which might like to eat you. Did I mention the ocean makes me nervous?
But there’s a Bible passage, that I really like, that actually reminds me of the ocean. In Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, he says, “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—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).
When I think about trying to grasp how high and long and wide and deep God’s love is, I think about the ocean. God’s love reaches higher than the skies. It stretches farther than the farthest shore. It descends deeper than any ocean crevice. And it’s okay that we can’t fathom it. How could we? It’s so amazing. It’s so wonderful. God’s love is incredible—and His love is for us. He loves us with that unending, unimaginable, unfathomable love.
How do we know for sure that God loves us this much? Because of Jesus. God came in human flesh and lived among us. He was willing to die a death He didn’t deserve because it was the only way for our broken relationship with Him to be restored. Because even though our sin separated us from God, even though we rebelled against Him on purpose, even though humanity wanted nothing to do with God, His love for us didn’t shrink back. He wanted to rescue us from our own selfishness. He came, He died…and He rose again, defeating sin and death once and for all. That’s the love that’s bigger than oceans. The love that reaches out to us, no matter how far we go. The love that comes for us, no matter how low we sink. The love that promises to raise us up in glory with our Lord, the Creator of the sky and the sea. • Hannah Howe
• If we’ve put our trust in Jesus, we can know we are surrounded by His incredible love (Psalm 32:10). Can you think of a time you felt sure that God loved you? If nothing comes to mind, you can ask God to reveal His love to you anytime—He delights in answering these prayers!
…how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:18 (NIV)