A song by Dan Fogelberg is the inspiration for the latest edition of the iPod Devotional. His song “Longer” talks about the undying and forever affection he feels for his current love. Fogelberg’s song became a standard at weddings and was the song that he jokingly noted that “put him on elevators”.
I love the rich lyrics of Dan Fogelberg’s music. But this song, while touching in its’ heartfelt intent, is not really the way that men and women love each other. I listened to the words as dog friend Hannah and I walked the local park.
Longer than there've been fishes in the ocean
Higher than any bird ever flew
Longer than there've been stars up in the heavens
I've been in love with you
Stronger than any mountain cathedral
Truer than any tree ever grew
Deeper than any forest primeval
I am in love with you
I don’t mean this to be mean spirited at all. But the author of these amazing lyrics was married three times. Love like that is something most of us dream about in our relationships. Most of us fall short. My love for my wife of thirty plus years has not always been strong, true and deep. I wish I could say it has been. We were committed so we fought through the tough times and are still in love. More so than ever. But as I walked with my canine companion the lyrics made me think of a love that does measure up to those impossible lyrics. The love of our Father in heaven for His children. Listen to how Scripture describes His love for us.
Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the ocean depths
You care for people and animals alike, O LORD.
How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 36:5-7, NLT)
Do want to talk about a forever love? How about these words to the Ephesian Church?
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4, NLT)
John also reminds us that God loved us first.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:10-11, NLT)
And the Creator of the universe calls us his children.
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! (1 John 3:1, NLT)
Dan Fogelberg writes honestly that the fire of infatuation cools and cracks often appear. Some relationships make it and some do not.
Through the years as the fire starts to mellow
Burning lines in the book of our lives
Though the binding cracks
And the pages start to yellow
I'll be in love with you
But the amazing truth of God’s love is that it never changes. Because of Christ I know that no matter how much my love for Him falls short today I can count on one thing. That my Abba Father is whispering gently to me even as I hide from Him in weakness and shame.
My child, I am in love with you.
That is a good reminder for these difficult times.
Note: Dan Fogelberg was taken from us with prostate cancer. I know his legacy would be honored if men would seek regular screening for this dread disease.