A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
Each morning I begin my prayers, “Heavenly Father, I praise You and worship You. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. You are merciful and loving; You are Holy and Just.” Then I think, almost without fail, that those words are never enough to describe who He is to me. Words are never enough to truly reveal the glory and majesty of our Creator.
Moses, Daniel, Isaiah, David, and many more wrote of the wonder of our God in the Old Testament. Their words, inspired by God Himself, make up ¾ of the entire Bible, which is no small book. Still, for all the prophets spoke and wrote of God’s love, mercy, and holiness, the people didn’t completely understand the majesty of God because our languages are insufficient for that task.
I was thinking about this during my prayer time yesterday morning, and the children’s book Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney came to mind. It is a story about Little Nut Brown Hare and his dad Big Nut Brown Hare. Little Nut Brown Hare tells Big Nut Brown Hare how much he loves him: “I love you as high as I can hop!” he says. His father responds, “Well, I love you as high as I can hop,” which is, of course, higher. Throughout the story they try to describe how much they love each other as Little Nut Brown Hare is getting ready to go to bed. Just as he is drifting off to sleep, the little one says with a smile, “I love you to the moon!” After he is off into dreamland, his loving father says, “I love you to the moon . . . and back.”
Then I heard God say, “I love you to the cross . . . and back.” A thousand words and more can’t adequately describe the love of God. But this one picture — of Jesus on the cross, of His bleeding brow ringed with a crown of thorns, of His bleeding side — portrays it so well.
I believe that’s why the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Words alone were not enough to portray His love. He had to come down from Heaven and show us. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 (NIV).
I know I love God, but I also know that He loves me and you more. He loves us to the cross . . . and back.
I’ve read that children’s book to my kids over the years. I’ll never see that book again without thinking of your blog. Blessings. 🙂
More importantly, I hope it will always make you think of Jesus!
“I love you to the moon”
a tremendous reminder to all of us of what price Jesus paid for us…and we’re worth less than a half shekel I reckon.
And yet to Him we are worth so much more! Peace, Linda
linda, I don’t tell you enough, or perhaps not at all, but I do so enjoy reading your blogs, I love how your words flow and draw out the Bible for us that we want to know more about our Creator and Savior. Karen N.
Karen, Thank you! I actually did not know that you have been reading my blog. It is such a blessing to me to know that others are blessed by what I write. I am so thankful that God has brought me to this place where I can share His love and mercy with others, and that He brings readers like you to be blessed. 🙂 Peace, Linda
Words can never fully express the love of God for us. I think of the old hymn by Mary Shekleton 1827-83 “It passeth knowledge, that dear love of Thine” and especially of the last verse:
And when my Jesus face to face I see,
When at His lofty throne I bow the knee,
Then of His love, in all its breadth and length,
Its height and depth, its everlasting strength,
My soul shall sing!
Meanwhile, your “to the cross . . . and back” is an excellent expression.
He died to save but He lives to keep and one day He is coming back for me.
Thank you! When I heard Him say this to me, I thought it was an excellent expression, too. 🙂 I don’t know if I’ve heard that Mary Shekleton hymn, but it sounds like a good one. I appreciate you sharing the lyrics. I will have to go to YouTube and see if I can find it. Peace, Linda
It is in most hymn books but I guess they are almost a thing of the past nowadays. I still have a number from past years.
“credit where credit is due”… so sorry about the typos!!
I honestly can’t see the screen no matter which way I look through my bifocals, and I even have special glasses just for the computer. The words move around a little on the screen, so what looks perfect when I proof it, always looks different when I post. This will be the thing that drives me insane. Just sayin’…
Linda, Are you sure it’s not the tears in your eyes? 😉 Just kidding. No problem with a few typos, but I know what you mean. It drives me nuts when I think a comment is right on another blog and then I hit submit, and immediately see a typo. Peace, Linda
What a powerful visual your teaching creates: “His bleeding brow ringed with a crown of thorns.” Reading it feels painful.
I thought I coined the phrase “to the moon and back” then ammended it occassionally by saying “to the moon and back times infinity.” Pretty clever, until now. Hats off to Little Brown Nut Hair for credit where credit is die! : )
I remember riding home from Bible Study with some very holy religious people (see your list from from 3/23), and I said that I loved God to the moon and back times infinity. They scoffed, and frowned, and implied that I was disrespectful. Now that chuch is on my list of, “Churches that I’ve left along the way.” No wonder it’s so hard to worship Jesus!
I really like your morning prayer, even though you feel your words are lacking. I once fretted over the fact that “thank you” is what I say to a carry out boy at the grocery store, so what are the right words to express my gratitude to Him.
All good thoughts… reflections for another day. Hugs… : )
Linda, When the idea for this post came to me during my prayer time, I had to get up twice to get a tissue. 🙂 Thinking of how much Jesus loves me was both painful and joyful at the same time. The carving that is in the picture came from a vacation in Mexico and hangs in my living room, one of the first things I see when I come in the house each evening. I love (and at the same time dislike) the look on His face because I can see both love and anguish in it.
As for your Bible study folks, sounds like you were right to move on, though no doubt they could probably use our prayers. Maybe someday they’ll really see to picture of God’s love for them. Peace, Linda
“I love you to the cross . . . and back.”
This made me cry. The power of Words. The power of Christ.
Rea, I trust they were tears of joy. 🙂 I cried when I heard Him say it, too. Peace, Linda
“To the cross … and back” …. Wow. That’s deep. Very deep.
Makes me want to ask “How can I say thanks for the thing He has done for me?” … Really, how can I?
Linda, this is an absolutely wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Ann, I don’t think words are sufficient to say thanks, either. We must act in love towards others, and that is the thanks He truly wants. Peace, Linda
Linda, when I got to what God told you, that He loved you to the cross and back . . .I began to cry. He’s been working on me lately and it’s a little hard to take in. But, it’s because He loves me more. Thank you so much, Linda, for letting Him speak to me, through you, today.
God bless you and show you His love throughout your day.
Deb, I don’t know why this occurred to me, but I was thinking that Aubrey would really enjoy “Guess How Much I Love You.” I’m so glad this post reminded you of how much He loves you today. Peace, Linda