Love on a Backyard Swing

When we lived in Holland, Michigan, our backyard had a pink, homemade swing that hung by ropes from an old peach tree. It was  crafted of scrap lumber, 16 inches wide by 10 inches deep with armrests on each side and backrest to keep her from falling out.  It was just the perfect size for our 2-year old daughter.   When the weather was nice, Elisabeth loved to swing in it. 

One warm autumn day, I was in the back yard while Elisabeth was on the swing.  Her unruly, straw-colored hair made her look like a woodland fairy.  As she sat in the swing, the sun caught her hair just right, casting a fuzzy, golden halo around her head.  Her face was filled with joy and my heart melted within me.

“Oh, how much I love her!” I thought to myself.  “She can’t even begin to understand the depth of my love.”

Suddenly it dawned on me.  “I’ll bet my parents felt the same way and I never knew it.  Now I understand!” You can never comprehend your parents love, until you have children of your own.”

Then my thoughts travelled even further, “If I feel this way about Elisabeth, how much greater must God’s love be?” 

We can never fully understand God’s love—it’s just too big!—but in that moment, I caught a glimpse of its riches and depth. Perhaps this is what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he prayed in the book of Ephesians:

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 

Ephesians 3:17-19

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