Friday, January 6, 2012

Define Impossible

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

This is such a huge promise, but also one that we’re afraid to trust. Why? Is it that logic overpowers us? Are we afraid of being disappointed if we trust this? But we believe in God’s power to create the world from nothing, and to heal the sick and to raise the dead, right? Maybe the problem is that we do believe and are afraid that God will answer with more than we can ask or imagine, and we don’t want to have to face that?

This verse comes at the end of Paul’s prayer that we would grasp the immensity of God’s love which surpasses knowledge. That certainly sounds like an impossible request. And yet I think we do get the chance to have moments in which we “see” God in a way that speaks this understanding into our hearts, and in a way that goes beyond the capacity of our minds to fully comprehend or explain. Maybe this is what Mary was experiencing when she “pondered” things in her heart. I think this is what happens at the moment of conversion for those who become Christians as adults, and for those who find God in a new and deeper way in the midst of a crisis. How someone gets to this moment is less important than just that they do get to this point.

Immediately following this verse, Paul begins his teaching about unity in the Church. That certainly seems like the impossible dream right now. Looking back through the Church’s history, I think it has always been a struggle, though. And yet this is what Jesus himself prayed for us (John 17).

He is able. I think we need to hold on to our hope and keep on praying—for deeper understanding of the immensity of his love, for answers in the midst of seemingly impossible situations, and for the unity of the body of Christ.

To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

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