I know. I just wrote about this hymn a couple of weeks ago. I'm sorry. I can't help but be drawn back to it again and again. And though I love the entire thing, it's those first lines that I can't ever get out of my head.
O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee; I give thee back the life I owe, That in thine ocean depths its flow May richer, fuller be.
Tonight I was meditating on those lines for what feels like the millionth time and I felt compelled to write about why they affect me so deeply. It's just that they seem to sum up my entire belief system beautifully and in amazingly few words.
O Love that will not let me go: This has become, subconsciously at first, consciously now, my name for God. God has many names. Yahweh, I Am, the LORD, God, are the first few to come to mind. And no name our lips can utter or image our minds can project can even come near to the reality of what God is. But I have come to cling to the image/name of God as Love. The Divine Love. The absolute essence of pure love. Any love we experience on earth is merely a shadow of the True Love that is God. And the best part is that this Divine Love will not let me go. God always pursues me, persists in reaching toward me, never gives up on me. I know what it feels like to be rejected, to have someone decide I'm not worth the effort, to be let go. Divine Love will never do that to me. I am 100% unconditionally loved, desired, pursued, valued by God.
I rest my weary soul in thee: I am so thankful that I am finally at a place in life where I realize that I can't make myself into a better person. There is no possible way I can produce those beautiful fruits of the spirit everyone always likes to list all neat and perfectly in my own heart by my own super-praying power and Bible-reading gusto. I can't force myself to be more joyful, patient, or kind. I can do a few superficial acts here and there but my main goal is not to make myself into anything. I only want to rest in God's presence. I want to rest and soak up that Divine Love and know that hanging out with God is going to change my heart. It's his effort, not mine. And my soul really is weary- with sin and pain and sorrows and all kinds of diseased thinking that I don't know how to deal with. I am so glad to rest and hand it over to God.
I give thee back the life I owe: People give their lives to lots of things. In my case, I most often give it for myself. I want what I want and I think I know how to make myself happy. I chase my own whims and desires and it's never enough. I never feel fulfilled. And that is why I want to give my life to God, for his purposes, and stop trying to fill myself. I hand it over knowing that I can't be God...I am terrible at it. I want to be in control, but I know giving up control is the only way to the second part of this sentence...
That in thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be: Getting submerged in the ocean of God's love is the only way I can live a truly rich, full, abundant life. God is so huge, holy, beautiful...and I just want to be a part of that. I'm nothing on my own. My efforts have always turned up empty. And I don't want to live in emptiness. I want that fullness that comes from knowing God intimately.