A little boy was asked how you know someone loves you. “You know they love you when your name is safe in their mouth.” That phrase has stuck with me for years.
Two days ago, I wakened early, dressed, and grabbed a protein bar for the road. It was “Fab Friday,” one of our twice-monthly dates where four other women and I meet to learn from God and each other. After chatting and catching up a bit, we looked at scripture and A.W. Tozer’s book, THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY, then discussed the character and nature of God’s love. There is no way I can describe His love adequately, no way at all. But I can reflect on it.
God’s love has no beginning and no end; it is kind, patient, not dependent on my feelings. When I sin, His love doesn’t diminish. He may convict me, challenge me–for the purpose of reconciliation, not of judgment–but His love will not change.
Driving home after our study, I turned up our road and saw my dh (dear hubby, darling hunk …) working in the yard. I pulled over. Don stood up, handsome in his denim jacket and cowboy hat, and leaned on the white fence. My heart filled at the sight of him. I know he loves me completely, and that my name is safe in his mouth. He will never disparage or put me down, because he loves me.
And to think that in a much greater sense, my name is safe in God’s mouth is astounding. I have heard Him speak my name in my innermost being when I was in turmoil and fear. The sound filled my spirit. It was like the music of many waters, tender, filled with love, speaking peace to my spirit. Tozer says “To know that love is of God and to enter into the secret place leaning upon the arm of the Beloved–this and only this can cast out fear.” (p. 99)
I can rest in God’s love, which is complete, pure, always wanting my best. “The Love of God” is one of my favorite hymns. A Jewish rabbi wrote a poem in 1050; many years later, a demented man wrote a translation of those words on the walls of the insane asylum where he died; and a Gentile hymnwriter, Frederick M. Lehman, incorporated those words into the third verse of his hymn written in 1917. (http://www.hymnary.org/text/the_love_of_god_is_greater_far).
I’ve copied the words to the first and third stanza, as well as the refrain, below. I pray it will minister to you as it does to me.
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Even in tragic circumstances, a man who died in an insane asylum could scratch the words of that last stanza, describing God’s love, on his wall That love is eternal, unending, unconditional, complete.
So what’s love got to do with it? Absolutely everything!
I’d love to hear about a time when you felt God’s love clearly, personally.