Daily Encouragement: Day 219

From Handbook to Wisdom, Day 219

THE BOUNDLESS LOVE OF GOD

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders You have done,
and Your thoughts toward us no one can recount to You;
were I to speak and tell of them, they would be
too many to declare.
(Psalm 40:5)

I am convinced that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor principalities, nor things present
nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor
anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate me from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus my Lord.
(Romans 8:38–39)

The Elizabethan poet George Herbert (1593–1633) captured this stinging sense of unworthiness in his superb personification of the love of God:

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked anything.

“A guest,” I answered, “worthy to be here”:
Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee.”
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”

“Truth, Lord; but I have marred them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve.”
“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”
So I did sit and eat.1

Beyond all human faith, beyond all earthbound hope, the eternal God of love has reached down to us, and in the ultimate act of sacrifice, purchased us and made us His own.

Footnotes

  1. The poem title is “Love (III).”