"Thee will I love my strength my tower, Thee will I love my hope my joy. Thee will I love with all my power, with ardor time shall ne'er destroy. Thee will I love oh light divine, so long as life is mine.
"Thee will I love my life my Savior, who art my best and truest Friend. Thee will I love and praise forever for never shall Thy kindness end. Thee will I love with all my heart -- Thou my Redeemer art."
I recently saw a story on CBS about a 77-year-old man, Luther Younger, who walks a few miles each day to see his wife, Waverlee. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Every day she has spent in the hospital, come rain or shine, Younger walks three miles there and three miles home, breaking into a run when he gets close, in order to be by her side. They have been married for about 35 years.
When asked why he doesn't take the bus or accept the rides offered him by friends along his route, Younger explains that he uses the time walking to reminisce about their lives together. "She's my best friend. That's why I'm sticking with her. If it hadn't been for my wife, I wouldn't have made it."
It struck me while watching this video that Younger knows something of loving with ardor and strength that I can only hope to learn in my lifetime. He knows the energy spent in moving toward his wife, though easier means are available, fans the flame of his love for her and strengthens the depth of their relationship.
This made me think about my own relationships. Do I live like I know that devoting extra time and energy on the ones I love fans the flame between us? Do I even express a portion of this energy in the love I express to Jesus? If I'm honest, the answer is no to both questions. But here's where Younger's story inspires and edifies. His devotion to his wife models something for which we all long: a love that does not grow rusty or dispassionate with age. And Christ's love for us is just like that.
While it might be hard to imagine God getting excited to spend time with us, the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32 says otherwise. First, we see God running to us as a Father running to see His long-lost child. Then we see God leaving the welcome-home party to check on the child who has been with Him all along.
So, whether you feel near to God or far from Him today, be assured His love will stop at nothing to reach you where you are. His love does not grow cold or indifferent. In Jesus He has proven that for us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for writing a love story of epic proportions in each and every one of our lives. Through Your life, death, and resurrection on our behalf, You have marked us as people who are passionately loved. Let us go and love likewise. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by AmyRuth Bartlett. It is based on the hymn, "Thee Will I Love My Strength My Tower," which is found on page 694 in the Lutheran Service Book.
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