Counting the Ways of Love

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Worship 34 Comments

Greatest Romance

Several years ago I experienced a memorable God-moment when my flight had been delayed. On that particular warm June morning, I had gotten to the Philadelphia airport crazy-early and was eager to get home to my young family after a beautiful weekend of ministry. No lie – when I saw that my flight was delayed, I was bummed. My initial disappointment, however, quickly dissolved into gratefulness, as the extra airport time became an opportunity for me to have extended personal worship.

As I sat facing the flat runway, a fiery orange ball began to rise over the horizon that was simply breathtaking. I couldn’t help but to reflect on God’s goodness as He bragged on Himself with the glorious sunrise. I remember sensing His presence and His pleasure deep inside as I considered a few of the reasons that I loved our amazing LORD. In the chaos of the terminal, I felt a peace and serenity that was profound.

Have you ever had one of those sweet, intensely personal God-moments?

Taking it all in, I sipped fresh-brewed coffee as my mind wandered to that classic poem “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways,” written by the talented poet of the Victorian era, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Her poem seemed the perfect backdrop for my worship. Out of that sweet moment of personal worship was birthed the lyric for a song titled Because that I recorded later that year:

Because
by Gwen Smith and Randy Rothwell

Another flight delayed, sitting here I think of You
Sipping on a dark “Seattle’s Best”
As the sun is rising, I pause to give You praise
A solitary moment in a blur of busy days
Where should I begin?
There’s so much I could say
Why do I love you?
Let me count the ways…

Because You chased me
And then You caught me
Because You cherish me
Because You bought me
You change me deeply
You set my heart free
Because I’m never satisfied
Without Your presence right here by my side

People all around rushing by, just passing through
Carrying the baggage we all own
Desperate for true love, richer life and perfect peace
A chance for satisfaction with a prayer of belief
In Your presence there is serenity
Father of mercy, I love you endlessly…

Because You chased me
And then You caught me
Because You cherish me
Because You bought me
You change me deeply
You set my heart free
Because I’m never satisfied
Without Your presence right here by my side

Hear my heart in this noisy sanctuary as I sit here all alone
You are worthy of a song that’s never ending
I will sing until I’m safely home, safely home
Lord I love You, Oh I love You

Have you really savored our Savior lately?  Have you paused to adore Him today?  What about yesterday?  This week?  In the midst of marriage, mothering and ministry, I constantly struggle with freeing up time to ‘just sit’ with God and worship… to behold Him in His sanctuary… yet this is what God desires most! Our affection. Our adoration. Our love.

So today, I praise Him for missed flights that lead to worship. I praise Him for sunrises that demand a prayerful response. I praise Him for the peace He brings to my frazzled. For the calm His presence brings to my chaos.

Heavenly Father, There are so many reasons why I love you!  You chased me and caught me. You cherish me and bought me with the blood of your Son, Jesus. Please forgive me for the times when the busyness of life crowds out my time to adore You. Hear my heart today as it tenderly and sincerely whispers, “I love You!” I praise you and pray this in the powerful, saving name of Jesus, Amen.

 

What do you praise Him for today? Leave a comment below listing at least FIVE things or people that you PRAISE GOD for today!! (Have fun with this! And, as always, encourage one another…)

Comments 34

  1. Top 5 Praises to Jehovah
    He doesn’t love me the way I deserve
    He doesn’t forget to bless me : even when I am not deserving and forgot to be a blessing my self
    He doesn’t choose how to be daily based on emotions bc I do.
    He sees me and still Loves on me
    He works within my natural being to create more of him in a spiritual being.

  2. Topped 5 things I praise God for
    He cares for me
    Provides for me
    Gives me strength in sickness
    He places a table between me and my enemy and give me good friends
    He is working actively in my life

  3. my freedom, my daughter, my family and friends, my bosses, and all the blessings that would take all day to list, however I have to list a 6th one–my future husband that I have not yet met, but know God is leading him to me.

  4. I thank God for the ability to love Him and others, a willingness to keep trying even when I fall short of His will, the family and friends He has blessed me with, the heart to forgive, and his compassion that he works within me to give towards others.

  5. 1) My two gorgeous daughters; 2) My loving husband; 3) The congregation He led me to 4) His never ending love 5) All the ways He reminds me to worship him

  6. 1. Finding out I am carrying a healthy baby boy 2. My husband 3. The strength he gave me to forgive 4. Bad days that make me faithful 5. Good days that make me thankful

  7. 1. My family 2. That I am able to freely worship my God without persecution 3. My health 4.his mercy and forgiveness 5. That he chose me for this life and to be his child of God!

  8. I thank God for 1) His forgiveness 2) Stumbled upon a dream job ad (still need to apply) 3) Great weather 4) Friends 5) Encouragements from blogs like Gwen’s.

  9. I love the Lord so much because He has always and will always be there for me and my family. As I look back over the years in particular those times when I used to rebel, I realized that He was there all along. I thank God for his grace, His mercies in my life, I thank Him for giving me five beautiful children, for my job and for my partner. I thank God too for his never ending love which is renewed each day- yes just imagine as His Word says His love is renewed every morning, a fresh portion is dished out to us each day. I am also thankful that in my side of the world we can get to worship God freely, we have the privilege of being in fellowship and reading from His Word and praying unlike some other continents and parts of the world. Thank you Father for all that you have done to me and my family and will continue to do. Thank you too for the sweet reminder this morning Gwen Smith. The Lord bless and keep you~! From Suva, Fiji (Reama Naco)

  10. I am so thankful for His grace, love I can’t begin to fathom, generous provision, for giving me the senses to appreciate the beauty He created, even in this fallen state, and the fact that I can trust Him no matter what, unlike anyone on this earth. Thank you for sharing your timely reminder that it’s so much about our perspective.

  11. I praise God because He loves me for me, He always provides, He never gives up on me, He shows me things at just the right moments, and He is forgiving.

  12. I thank God for loving me with a everlasting love! I thank God for the life I have in Christ Jesus! I thank God for my family. I thank God for his holy word, that speaks truth & life! It renews my mind each day. I love Him, & desire to be so full of Jesus in my everyday life, & to serve him, by serving people!

  13. 1) I thank God for allowing his son to die for my sins. 2) For giving me life. 2) My parents who started me on my Christian journey. 3) My wonderful husband. 4) My beautiful children, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. 5) This beautiful world he gave us to live in.

  14. I thank God for the beautiful sunrise today and everyday; being able to see the sunlight and all that God has created around me; for my family and friends; for God’s love and understanding that I am not perfect; to be able to sit outside in the sunshine and just spend time with God doing my devotionals and just being quiet to hear Him.

  15. I want to give Glory to Him 1. For God giving his only son as a sacrifice so that as long as we believe in Him we will be saved. 2. My spouse. 3. This beautiful world (creation of God). 4. A roof over my head. 5. The ability to be able to pray for others and have the heart to want to.

  16. I praise Him for waking me up healthy this morning, for giving me the peace that passes all understanding, for His divine favor, for my three wonderful kids, and five beautiful grandchildren. Thank You Jesus for your love and guidance through the Holy Spirit.

  17. 1. sun is shining on another day..2. our freedom in this country that we take for granite 3. for my vision that I do have (I am 32 and was 3 months premature 1 lb 8 oz ) I cant see at all out of one eye and I am thankful god has chose me to give life to me. 4. for my husband he is my best friend my soul mate 5. for my family for what I have left of them (both my husbands and my family). I know there can only be five but thought of another for our lord and savior jesus for paying the ultimate sacrifice for dying on the cross and rising again.

  18. 1) For a 13-yr-old daughter who is filled with His joy even in the midst of chronic and painful health problems; 2) for the way He’s gently but doggedly pursuing my older daughter who so needs His presence to calm her anxieties; 3) for the baby-green on the trees as they bud; 4) for longer days with warm sun on my face; 5) for humbling me so I can love my husband more completely!

  19. It’s so much I Praise God 1 my health and strength 2 my nephew 3 roof over my head 4 my friends 5 and most important Jesus for Saving me Glory!

  20. being there for me
    knowing i’m going to heaven
    the opportunies to do things

    to enjoy life
    he always loves me and forgives me
    Thank you

  21. I praise God for His provision for us, we have all we need, including a very quickly approaching project of building our new home. Praise Him for His strength, for His love and His leading. Praise Him most of all that when I mess up and get my focus and attitude off of Him, I can claim His righteousness and forgiveness. He sees me as perfect in His eyes. Forgiven and made righteous by His love.

  22. I praise God first and foremost for Him and His endless pursuit of me; for my husband; for my abundance; for His forgiveness; and I praise Him for giving me way more than 5 things to praise and thank Him for!

  23. I thank God for the miracle of new birth, for giving me this farm, for giving me a wonderful family and husband, for always taking care of our needs and for giving me humor! I love to laugh and I love that He must love to laugh in order to give us the gift of humor!!

  24. I thank God for waking me each morning and allowing me to start fresh again with a new day. I thank him that, despite my failing each day to get it right, he loves me!! I thank him for showing me the small glimpse of love he has for me by allowing me to raise two children for him and experiencing heart ache, disappointment and unconditional love. I thank him for being my Jehovah Jireh, God my provider. I thank him for caring about even the smallest things that I pray about and he listens and answers. Praise the Lord oh my soul!!!

  25. I thank God for loving me in spite of me and for saving me. I thank Him for life and life more abundantly. I thank Him for my family, I thank Him for healing every broken place in my life, I thank Him for regulating my mind and I thank Him for correction and direction. I thank Him for the ministry that He has birthed in me and I thank Him for His grace and mercy and I thank Him because He looks beyond ALL of my faults and continues to supply my needs!!! What manner of love is this??? Hallelujah!!!

  26. I thank God for dying for me, for forgiveness of sin, for a loving husband,2 wonderful christian sons and daughters-in law, thankful for five wonderful christian grandchildren.

      1. I thank God for waking me up today in good health with a sound mind, I thank God for my family, for His goodness and mercy. I thank Him for today, that I able to see it. Most of all, I love Him so much and thank Him for coming in my heart. Amem

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