Today is the birthday of my former pastor and mentor, Jim Gardiner. This birthday he would have caught up with me at age 72, but instead of celebrating with us, he’s celebrating with the LORD. Many miss him. He had a heart for God and a heart for people. He taught me, and a host of others, about grace and the love of God.
“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, 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]
God loves us. That simple statement is one of the deepest truths ever recorded in the Scriptures. God, the Creator of the Universe, its Eternal, Infallible Sustainer, loves His creation. God loves us. Paul’s prayer is that we might somehow be able to grasp with our finite minds the width, length, height and depth of this infinite love. The more we can grasp that, the more we are filled with “all the fullness of God.”
When my children were small, we hosted some missionaries from around the world for several weeks. There were seven of them. Three were from African nations and they taught my three children a simple song. So simple, I still remember it. “Jesus love is very wonderful, Jesus love is very wonderful, Jesus love is very wonderful, so wonderful now. So high that you can’t get over it. So low that you can’t get under it. So wide that you can’t get around it. So wonderful now.”
I still can see them leaping and dancing with the children in our living room as they sang. I still remember the song. And I still am absolutely amazed by how true that song really is.