O, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus, a timeless hymn, has had several popular renditions, from Selah, to Bob Kauflin, to Audrey Assad. This song, originally written by Samuel Trevor Francis, contains poignant metaphors, likening the love of Our Lord to an ocean current that runs over, underneath and all around us. The striking water imagery may come directly from Francis’ own salvation experience. It was as a teenager that Francis stood on a bridge over the River Thames contemplating suicide. As the rush of the river swelled beneath him, Francis was overcome with the love of Jesus which beckoned him not to cast away his life.
Now, instead of a torrid river that nearly signaled his suicidal death, Francis envisioned the enveloping current of God’s love, signifying Francis’ new life. Hallelujah! Given this new lease on life, Francis went on to travel widely, open-air-preaching about the love of God wherever he went. He died at age ninety-two having written several hymns which continue to bless us even today.
Although each of us may not have stood on the brink of suicide as Francis did, we each experience the rescue of our Savior and his overwhelming love. And his most popular hymn, O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus, so brilliantly gives words to the depth of love each of us feel from our Savior.