“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is” (Ephesians 3:18, NLT).
“I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.” Forrest Gump, in the movie by the same name, said these words to Jenny, whom he had loved since he met her on the bus going to school for the very first time. She didn’t take him seriously until the end of her life, when she realized he really did love her. All the men she had been with up until that time had only used and abused her.
Forrest Gump’s love for Jenny was strong, always there no matter how she treated him, self-sacrificing and constant. God’s love for all humankind is the same, but wider, longer, higher and deeper. We see glimpses of how deep it is when someone sacrifices him or herself for another but for the most part, the absolute profundity of his love escapes us. We simply cannot understand how God can love everyone as much as he does, no matter what we do or how we treat him and each other, to the point of giving his life—his God life—so we can enjoy life forever with him. We can only pray, as Paul did, for the power to grasp it, as he reveals himself in Jesus.