How Deep the Father's Love for Us

  • June 28, 2011
  • #7607

Joni shares an adaptation of Psalm 23 written by her friend who sails.

“How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” is a beautiful contemporary hymn. Hi, this is Joni. If you know it, sing along… 

How deep the Father’s love for us
How fast beyond all measure.
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Oh, boy, “How deep the Father’s love for us.” Isn’t that a beautiful hymn and I’m glad you sang along. There are a lot of hymns, old and new, that speak about God's love being deep. Deep like an ocean – oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus, right? Such hymns picture God's love "rolling as a mighty sea" – and when I sing hymns like these, I think back on the time back in Ocean City, Maryland when Ken and I went sailing one summer day. Because my wheelchair was too big to bring on board the sailing vessel, Ken carried me and sat me on a cushion and wedged me up against the side of the boat on one of those masts. Then he wrapped a line of rope around me five or six times — I looked as though I were about to be marched off the gangplank.

We left the dock and began sailing toward the inlet where the Sinepuxent Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean – for a short stretch there; the waves are pretty big and treacherous. We weren’t worried, though, ours was a big sailboat and our friend, Monty, at the helm was as experienced a pilot as they get, along with his wife, first mate Sara who sat on one side of me, with Ken on the other. As we entered the rocky channel, the boat began to pitch and roll. It got a little scary there for a few minutes, and I was a little nervous. If something awful had happened, if there were an emergency, I risked going down with the ship (thankfully, Ken had handy a sharp knife to cut the rope just in case). “Don’t worry,” said Sara, “we’ll be in smooth water soon; this will pass.” She seemed to know what she was talking about so I relaxed, knowing that Monty and Sara were the experts. 

When we returned late afternoon, Sara shared with me an adaptation she wrote on Psalm 23. I’ve kept it all these years, and I share it with you today to remind you of the deep and abiding love of Jesus… Sara wrote this:

The Lord is my captain; I shall not be in want. He makes me anchor in calm harbors, He leads me beside quiet waters; He restores my soul. He guides me on a course of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I sail through the troughs of the storms of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your sun and moon comfort me. You provide food from the sea in the presence of sharks and barracuda. You rinse me with sparkling rain; my tank overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will sail in the ship of the Lord forever.

Do you ever feel far from God's love? Or that life is swamping your deck with problems? Remember that God's love is deeper, wider, longer, higher, than any weights you may have aboard. Ephesians 3 is my encouragement, I pray that you have power to grasp how wide and high the deep love of Christ really is.

© Joni and Friends

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