Read these verses and ask if they match your experience of the love of God.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15 )
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—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17b-19)
Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. (Psalm 36:5)
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him. (Psalm 103:11)
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Psalm 23:5b)
Notice the plentitude. Abounding. Overflowing. Fullness. Heavens. These are not words meant to convey scarcity, an occasional drip. Rooted. A tree does not grow unless it has ample soil to draw from. Fullness. How many of us can tell of feeling full of God?
Does this capture how you experience God’s love on a daily basis? A weekly basis?
My experience of God’s love used to be little more than an occasional whisper. Every few months or so, I’d get a glimpse. As if from a distant country, a well-phrased word from God came to me about how he sees my efforts, or how carefully he is handling my life. I rejoice. But it fades soon, replaced by the noise and dust of life. And the next one doesn’t come for a while.
We seem to have accepted this as normal. We expect only the infrequent dose of God’s near, full love. We call them “mountaintop experiences” and feel better because at least it sounds realistic and adult. After all, we see only through a mirror dimly.
But when I examine the Bible and its characters still inhabiting our side of the mirror, I see a much different expectation laid out for us. When the Bible speaks of God’s love, it portrays a much fuller, stronger, and steadier phenomenon than we typically experience.
Are we missing something? Have we settled for much less love than God is willing to give us? Why? And how?