A Love Too Narrow

August 10, 2016 Bethel Admin

by Dave Kinsey

You may know the hymn “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” (#355 in the green Celebration Hymnal). Most hymnals, including our hymnal at Bethel, have four verses, but there are at least two or three more. I discovered this one in my reading recently:

But we make His love too narrow
By false limits of our own;
And we lose the tender shepherd
In the judge upon the throne.

The Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians, “that [they], being rooted and grounded in love, [would] have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge; that [they would] be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17b-21 ESV, emphasis mine)

“Strength to comprehend” is a curious phrase not used in other translations and paraphrases. To me it speaks of mental toughness to grasp what the Bible says over and over again—that God loves us and has demonstrated that love in sending Jesus to the cross to die for our sins. Love is often thought of as a feeling. “Can you feel the love tonight?” says the song from The Lion King. Yes, to feel loved is great, but to know we are loved—and to live confidently rooted and grounded in that love—is even better. That’s the way I see it anyway. What do you think?