Once I had a friend who was 6’6”. We nicknamed him Talls. He was head and shoulders taller than all my other friends. One year for his birthday I wrote him a card with Ephesians 3:17-19, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints 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” (NKJV)*. Then I wrote about how God’s love encompasses all directions.
The Width of God’s Love
Genesis 13:16-17 says, “And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” God told Abraham to measure the land that God had given him. The Lord kept His word to grant the entire area that He promised to give the children of Israel. The places we go and the ground we cover in our lifetimes has already been trod by the Lord. He is with us and goes before us. There is nowhere His love cannot reach us or cover us. He secures our inheritance for us with a love so wide it knows no end as it stretches from the east to the west.
The Length of God’s Love
God’s love extends to every day of our lives. 1 Kings 3:14 says, “So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” When we obey His law and live uprightly before God, He lengthens our lifespans. Honestly, sometimes with all the heartache the world holds, the thought of a long life can seem intimidating, but we exist to glorify God both on earth and for eternity.
As we strive to honor the Lord in our actions, each moment we breathe is a chance to praise God and make His glory known to a lost and dying world. There are many people that no one can reach but you. God designed your years to step into good works He foreordains, which includes proclaiming the gospel. When we get to heaven, we be unable to share the good news. Paul himself wrestled, torn between staying on earth and going to heaven to be with the Lord. However, he knew that he would have more fruit for his labor if he remained, and therefore chose to evangelize despite his prison chains (Philippians 1:19-26) Obedience that lengthens our days results in God’s presence every moment and His greater glory as we cling to Him.
The Heights of God’s Love
When I think of the heights of God’s love, I think of praising Him for His greatness. Psalm 148:1 says, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!” We soar above the heaven with joy for Who He is and all the wonderful things He has done. Every time that things are going great, God inhabits the heights with us there.
The Depths of God’s Love
Not only does God rejoice in our heights, God also sits beside us in the depths of despair. We cry out to God for salvation during times of trial. Psalm 130:1 says, “Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.” God does not turn a deaf ear to our cries or ignore our pain. While we really want to get out of the situation, we often don’t take time to enjoy God’s presence in the pit. I often don’t understand God’s timing or ways, but the times I’ve felt His work most intimately in my life were when my life seemed in shambles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).
As we learn the empathy of the Father in the depths of heartache, we also discover that our joy shall be restored. Psalm 71:20 says, “You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.” God won’t leave us in the misery. The Lord pulls us out of the depths and places us on firm ground where we can move forward in confidence (Psalm 40:2).
I pray that on your birthday, and every day of your life, will you understand the vast love that God has for you that nothing in creation can separate you from (Romans 8:38-39). There is no valley to wide, no road too long, no mountain too high, and no ocean too deep where God’s love will not enfold your every move. May you to bask in exceeding lovingkindness of the Lord.
Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over twenty years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people grow in Christ. Joanna enjoys coffee and reading, and currently lives in Florida.