Love Like a River

This morning I heard a song by Third Day that had the lyrics, “Your love is like a river flowing through my heart.”  I pictured a river in my mind and it looked like a babbling brook. I was going hiking to see waterfalls later in the morning and thought I’d see some small rivers and streams along the way. 
The appropriately named Little River taken on my hike
I then remembered that, in the Bible, Paul says, “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” in Ephesians 3:17-19. 
It does not sound to me like God’s love is a small, shallow brook where you can see the bottom and wade into the middle without getting your knees wet. I tried to think about larger rivers I’ve seen and the Missouri River from when I lived in St. Joseph came to mind. It is very wide and deep. You would get carried away if you tried to swim in it. I did a little research and found that the Missouri River is the longest river in North America, flowing 2,341 miles before it enters the Mississippi River near St. Louis. Its basin is 529,350 square miles which sounds like it contains a lot of water.

Image captured by Linda Gordon Rokosz

Imagining God’s love like the Missouri River sounds much more accurate. It is too big to see all of it at once. It is much too deep to stand in. It is so powerful that it will drag me in and whisk me along with it. I probably couldn’t get out of it in my own power. This image was a better help for me to understand the enormity of God’s love. 

Later in the song it says “Your love is like a rock that I am standing on.” I acknowledged to myself that normally I would probably picture a rock about my size but should probably be imagining a mountain, strong, unmovable, and towering.

Through this imagery my heart revealed that I have a tendency to limit God. I keep him confined to what I can imagine instead of relying on the truth that says “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). It now makes sense that these verses follow the ones previously mentioned. Once we realize that God is bigger than we think he is, we can acknowledge that he can do much more than our minds can comprehend and remember that his plans are for his glory to be made known in and through us. 
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