How Deep Is Your Love?

Jen’s Gem: When you experience God’s love, your life changes.

When I was in high school, my best friend and I performed in a variety show.  I played piano and we sang, “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees. We were originally supposed to sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” by Simon & Garfunkel, however, the show’s coordinator thought it would be too depressing.

I was also playing the piano for another singer in the show, so when my friend and I stepped on stage, I was nervous but not panicky. Later, as we listened to the performance on a cassette recording, my perception of how we sounded and the reality of it were light years apart.

Oh sure, my friend was great but me? Let’s just say that it’s a good thing God blessed me with other talents ‘cuz I sure was never going to make money as a singer! Simon Cowell would’ve had a field day with me! “Bloody awful” are words that might come out of his mouth. I don’t take offense – he’s probably right.

How many times does our perception of things not match the truth? Perhaps it’s because we don’t have all the facts? Maybe it’s because we’ve been swayed by other’s opinions or experiences? Either way, I think you’d agree that while the truth might hurt, in the long run it’s best.
 
This is what I always told my children. Tell me the truth. You may get in trouble for what you did, but if you lie about it, watch out! When you know the truth, then you can take steps to correct the misconceptions or falsehoods.
 
Growing up following an organized religion taught me that I had to earn God’s love, I had to work for it. I was inherently not good and only through works and man-made rituals could I become better. It was like the “IF-THEN-ELSE” COBOL programming language I learned in college. IF I did this, THEN God would do that, ELSE He wouldn’t.
 
My religious education provided a foundation of the Old Testament God. You know the parting of the Red Sea, the leading of the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses, David, and Abraham? But it didn’t provide me the knowledge of who God really is – my Father in heaven who loves me and you unconditionally.

I realize I may be starting to sound like a broken record with this “God loves you” message that’s been filling my posts and podcasts, however I believe that many people are walking this earth not knowing this amazing truth. And because they don’t know, they live their lives in quiet desperation, slogging through each day without hope. 

That’s what I did. I spent years and years slogging; just trying to get through the day. Mired by life’s many challenges, struggling to keep my head above water. Until one day it all came to a head, God reached out His loving hand and saved me. Now I know the truth. 

Recently on a walk, the song, “The Wonder of You” by Elvis Presley came up on my playlist. I’m a big fan of Elvis’ ballads – his voice has the power to take you to another place. It’s amazing. Given that his roots were in gospel music, I can’t help but wonder if the lyrics were meant to speak about a higher love – God’s love. Take a look:

When no one else can understand me
When everything I do is wrong
You give me hope and consolation
You give me strength to carry on
And you’re always there to lend a hand
In everything I do
That’s the wonder of you
And when you smile the world is brighter
You touch my hand and I’m a king
Your kiss to me is worth a fortune
Your love for me is everything
I guess I’ll never know the reason why you love me as you doThat’s the wonder of you.

These lyrics spell out the kind of love God has for His children. He gives us hope, comforts us, and provides us with strength. He’s always there. This is the kind of love that provides peace – God’s peace – the peace that surpasses all understanding. This is the love the world needs right now

I’m grateful for the foundation of God that I learned in school. I’m also grateful for all of the missteps I took, which led me down cray cray paths. This seeking for the truth resulted in who I am now, but more importantly, it resulted in me having a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus that has hands-down transformed my life.
 
This week, I’d like to encourage you to take a moment to re-read these lyrics, maybe even listen to the song. (You can click here to listen now.) Imagine how this kind of love must feel. Know that this is how much God loves you.

Now – that’s deep!

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