The Extravagant Dimensions of God’s Love.

I ask God that …you’ll be able to take in…the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. To grasp how wide and long and high and deep is His love.

Ephesians 3:17b-18 (NIV, The Message) 

What comes to mind when you think of extravagant dimensions?

Maybe…

Edinburgh Castle in Scotland? 

The Aleppo Citadel in Syria?

Palace of Versailles in France?

Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany?

The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina?

The list goes on and on.

The first image I see when I think of extravagant dimensions is Madewood Mansion (formerly Madewood Plantation House), a historic gem located in Napoleonville, Louisiana.

Yes, there is such a place. A tiny pinprick on the map, but oh what a treasure it holds!

One of those best kept secrets…except to a handful of Hollywood notables such as Brad Pitt who once stayed over night and Nicole Kidman who played the lead in a remake of the Civil War movie, The Beguiled, (rated R) which was, in part, filmed on location at Madewood. 

Formerly a bed and breakfast, Madewood is breathtakingly beautiful, rich with history, and, I must add, the setting for the story I’ve been working on (and off) for two years.

Madewood was designed by highly sought after architect, Henry Howard, an Irish immigrant, and built on a sugar plantation in 1846 by Colonel Thomas Pugh.

In that day and age, the Colonel’s 13,000 square foot expenditure was extravagant.

But like all large and lovely structures throughout the world, they are measurable. However large and spacious and valuable, they have limits. The dimensions of each are easily obtained by Google search.

And then there’s the love of God. It can’t be built, It can’t be contained.

It’s wide and long and high and deep and beyond the scope of human imagination. 

It’s extravagant in its dimensions because its source is God Who offers it freely through Christ, and can be enjoyed by all who receive His loving sacrifice on the cross.

And unlike the famous structures of the world, God’s love is essential.

I could live without Madewood or Versailles. Without God’s love, I have no hope. 

Though I may never grasp the extravagant dimensions of God’s love, I find deep satisfaction in knowing God’s love for me is boundless. Not in a general, sentimental sense, but in a deeply personal and intimate way. 

So here’s to attempting to grasp the width and length and height and depth of the love of Christ that fill us to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19, NIV). A love that’s extravagant in dimension, unmeasurable and wonderfully unfailing. 

Mary

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