I have been in a desert lately. My life is full of blessings and joy, laughter and love, and yet for months I have felt far from God. These seasons happen; I have walked with the Lord long enough to know that they do, and that they pass. The key to walking through these seasons is to keep coming to the foot of the cross, to keep opening God’s beautiful Word, to keep telling the Lord you are here and you are listening.
Earlier this week, I opened my Bible to Ephesians chapter 3. I began reading—not expecting much, but knowing the Word of God can always be nurturing, even if we don’t leave feeling nurtured. I read these beautiful words from St. Paul: I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And 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 (Eph 3:16-19).
The word “grasp” struck me in a new way. Isn’t that where our struggle lies, in the grasping? And then I began to reflect, what does St. Paul say is the precursor to grasping—it is “being rooted and established in love.” As mothers we have a unique ability to grasp the width, and length, and height, and depth of the love of God because the love we have for our children overwhelms us. I sensed the Holy Spirit, in his infinite generosity, asking me to consider the great love I have for my children, in all their joys, their foolishness, their beauty, and their struggles, and then to consider how much more the Father loves me. Even if we find ourselves in a place of spiritual dryness, the reality of the love of God is all around us, most poignantly in the eyes of our children. Our children and this grand call to motherhood, is just another beautiful way the Lord can reveal himself to us that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Our children’s response to us, to our gift of love, does not change the depth of it. How much greater is the love of our heavenly Father? His love is not contingent on our response, yet he asks us to seek him, to find him, and to know this great love which surpasses all knowledge.
And so, in this desert place where I find myself, I rejoice that nothing changes who God is. I rejoice that he gave me these seven beautiful souls who reflect the love of God and who bring me closer to him and closer to heaven, and I ask the Lord to please help me grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.