My Savior's Love (What Tongue Could Tell)

Being at a "loss for words" is one of those rare but universal experiences where a person encounters an event, a thought, or a feeling that leaves them completely speechless. This experience isn't simply an inability to make words - its an inability to find words to suit the occasion. In such a moment the mind performs a word search with "no results".  Well-worn words like 'love' or 'hate' seem altogether inadequate, but so do any number of our normal feelings, expressions or well-worn metaphors. At some point we come to realize that no combination of words could possibly fully express what we know to be true in our own experience.

The songs we sing together in corporate worship should be (and I believe are) truthful, fitting, poetic expressions of our devotion and passion for our great God. In many ways, they accurately and potently express our thoughts and attitudes rightly. But there are occasions where the simple act of saying "I don't know how to say it" is an also an appropriate act of worship. The Psalmist relates:

You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
Your wondrous deeds and Your thoughts toward us;
None can compare with You! 

I will proclaim and tell of them, 
Yet they are more than can be told. (Psalm 40:5)

Catch that? In view of the wonder of who God is and what He has done for us the Psalmist is left speechless - and yet, not. Though he recognizes that God is beyond comparison, nevertheless the Psalmist is overwhelmed with the sense that verbal praise, however short of the target, is still a perfectly worthwhile endeavor.

The lesson for every worshipper of God is this: it's right and necessary to continue striving in our praise of God even when words fall short. Was this not Paul's prayer for the Ephesian church (Eph. 3:18-19), that they would "have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge"? Indeed, God's love demonstrated in Christ Jesus is beyond our knowing (and therefore fully expressing). But praise be to God, as Paul concludes, that He desires to fill us "with all the fullness of God". As we recognize His desire to make Himself known He fills us with the ongoing desire to know Him. By this we draw ever closer to that aim.

So let's call these "songs of attempt", the ones we sing together with hearts overflowing with love and praise, knowing all the while they cannot even scratch the surface of the grandeur of God's love. Even such "songs of attempt" are welcomed by our Savior, a pleasing aroma from our lips toward Him no matter how far short of describing His glory they may be. Even so we will proclaim of His love for us, yet it is more than can be told.
What tongue could tell my Savior’s love
What song of angels could describe
Could endless praises be enough
To echo full His sacrifice
How worthy is the Lamb of God
Beyond all might or skill of pen
Still we confess and strain towards
Such mystery and magnificence

My Savior’s love, my Savior’s love
What could compare, what tongue could tell
My Savior’s love

What tune could carry on its wings
The beauty of that final breath
What words dare paint the awesome scene
When God stood in the stead of man
When Jesus Christ the radiant One
Took on the shadows of our hate
Then rose again just as the sun
With light and power in fullest grace

And when in death this tongue is stilled
My song of life has reached the end
Though as a flower I may wilt
This everlasting truth will stand
No death or life could separate
Me from the love of Christ my Lord
This hope is sure from age to age
My song will be forevermore

Matthew Boswell | Keith Getty | Matthew Papa
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