Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
There is a difference between having an opinion that God is holy and gracious and having a sense of the loveliness and beauty of that holiness and grace. There is a difference between having a rational judgement that honey is sweet and having a sense of its sweetness. A man may have the former that knows not how honey tastes. (Jonathan Edwards, 1734)
Father, enamor us with the loveliness and beauty of your holiness and grace. Holiness, because you dwell so far above us, unreachable and unsearchable. Grace, because you search us out, reaching down and astounding us in the death of Christ for us. Fill us with amazement at your divine love!
Make us like little children, sure that even if the whole realm of nature — magnificent mountains and crashing oceans alike — were ours to give, it would all be far too small a present of thanks.
We desperately need hearts that beat with memories of the taste of your sweetness. We need minds stopped short by your Spirit when we turn cold toward your gift of Jesus on the cross, and begin instead to fixate on ourselves. We want to be people of glad humility, redeemed children who are honored to hand you our soul, our life, our all.
“… may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Galatians 6:14
Hymn: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Issac Watts, 1707
Painting: Storm Among the Alps, Albert Bierstadt, 1856