I think the majority of us want to live "strong lives" - not wanting to really reveal any of those weak points in our lives (or at least not too frequently and only with certain trusted friends). I guess it goes without saying - our weaknesses don't always pick the most opportune times to reveal themselves, though! Sometimes they are just "out there" for everyone to see and then we are left "holding the bag" so to speak. They may come across when we are too outspoken about a matter, or we find fault with another over something we know very well is something we are trying to conceal in our own character. The best way to live is "genuinely". Yes, our weaknesses will show through when we choose this way of living, but so will the fact Christ lives deep within our hearts and is giving our lives a really solid foundation!
I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with everything God has for you. (Ephesians 3:17-19 ERV)
Strong in love and built on love - two very dynamic truths about our lives we need to "feature" more often! These are the two characteristics of our lives which we need to allow to shine through more and more each day. As we do, our tendency to hide behind our strengths will become less important and we will not be afraid to acknowledge we have weaknesses! It is time for us to understand the greatness of Christ's love - toward us and toward those who he brings across our path.
- The width of his love reached all the way across the cross and said, "This is for all of mankind." In the 70's I found a little statue which I gave to my parents which was a humorous looking little man with his arms stretched wide open. The caption read, "I love you this much," a sentiment conveyed in the breadth of his arm span. Jesus said, "I love you this much", in the width of his arm span across the beam of that cross all those years ago. I have a photo of an old, gnarly tree without leaves on it. The caption of the photo reads: I asked Jesus, "How much do you love me?" "This much," he answered. And he stretched out his arms and died.
- The length of his love is everlasting. From time in eternity, through time in eternity - our minds cannot comprehend the length of his love. We measure things in the ticking of the clock, the passage of days, and the length of years. He measures things in the blink of his eye. We simply cannot outlive his love, nor can we outlive his welcoming arms. His love is ever-present, ever-reaching, and ever-lasting.
- The height of his love has amazed scholars, theologians, and the common man since the beginning of time. Words have been penned about going up to the top of the mountain, the bottom of the sea, the width of the desert sands, and the expanse of the unknown universe beyond the searching of the naked eye - all to find evidence of his great care and love in each and every expanse. His love is not measured in an "end point", but in the vastness of it being without end!
- The depth of his love reaches into the darkest and deepest places of our hurts, fears, and depravity. It explores the quagmire of rebellion, hatred, and resentment buried deep in the recesses of our hearts. It bores deeper than any psychoanalyst will ever be able to reach and does more in that exploration than hours on a therapist's couch will ever accomplish. One look, one touch - enough to break open chains which have bound us in years of misery and set us free to reach new heights in him.
My prayer is similar to Paul's - that you may know this love. My own experience with his love is ever-increasing. Maybe this is why we are challenged to not measure it as we would normally measure "things", but to accept he has a width, depth, height, and length of his love which exceeds anything we could use to measure it! We can simply learn to relish it, appreciate it, and in turn, share it! Just sharin!