In one of her most famous poems, Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned a beautiful declaration of love that started like this:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach.
These words are a gentle echo of another expression of love. This time the writer is the apostle Paul, and he is speaking not of love between people, but of the love of God for each of His children:
I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Romans 8:38–39
God loves you like that? Really? Even with all your faults and failings? Yes! Everyone falls short,1 but God’s love is not diminished by this.
Take a few moments to meditate on the following statements about God’s love for you. Don’t try to analyze them; just savor the words and rest in the knowledge that His love for you is unconditional and unending.
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.—Jeremiah 31:3
I will never leave you nor forsake you.—Hebrews 13:5
[I would that you] may be able to comprehend what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.—Ephesians 3:18–19
Behold the love of God. In those years that have passed away it never failed. When we fell, it raised us; when we wandered, it recalled us; when we fainted, it revived us; when we sinned, it pardoned us; when we wept, it comforted us. In those moments of agony and doubt and almost despair, which some can recall, it was all-sufficient.—Reverend Canon Money, adapted
God loves you as though you are the only person in the world, and He loves everyone the way He loves you.—St. Augustine (354–430)
Now it’s your turn to express your love in return. Perhaps you’d like to write God a letter, a poem, or a card. Tell Him what He means to you. What do His presence, His gifts, and the promise of eternal salvation bring to your life? How does the knowledge of His unconditional love affect you? Put your feelings into words, as did David of old did time and time again in the book of Psalms. “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.”2