Ephesians 3:20-21 states "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."
I had a moment to reflect this morning. See, we only have one car, so in order to proceed with our plans today, the girls and I got up to take Dave to work at 6 am. It was quiet on the way back, as Natalie was sleeping and Sophia was staring out the window (a rare occurrence, I assure you) and as we were pulling onto the street that leads to our new neighborhood, I had one of those moments. Just one, but it was enough.
It struck me like a 2x4 just how far in the last 5 or so years I've come. What I struggled with at the beginning, yes, I won't lie, sometimes I still do. But He hears and answers His Grace is enough. I marveled at His work in my life. And I am humbled by it. You see, many times I have prayed with the thought in the back of my mind "I wonder if this really will ever change?" But I got a resounding yes this morning. I have given my testimony to numerous people and He is certainly still working on many areas of my life - but the real power, the real force of what He has done to me and through me, just blew me away.
You see I exist in a very temporal world. Not just in space and time, but in the moment. What's next - what do I need to do, who needs something, etc. That's a function of this season of my life as a wife, mother and re-patriot right now. And that's ok, as I'm right where He wants me. But it RARELY leaves time for reflection. I often feel like Jodie Foster at the end of the movie "Contact" when she is fighting with the investigative committee to defend her belief that she actually did go on a life altering journey through space. That is me - I feel like I'm fighting to keep my head above water for what is right all the time - and that feeling has been prevalent for that last 5 years.
But today - I got a moment the Bible so often talks about - when Elijah was asking to hear God's voice - it was still and small. But it rocked his world. Just as He did mine. Almost like a "This is your life" flashback - I was able to really comprehend all that He has taken me out of and just how different I am today versus 5 or even 10 years ago.
My friend Lynn tells me all the time how different, how many changes have been wrought in my personality - all the while still leaving me who I am at the core and defining my real value as a child of God. She can see it - but honestly, I haven't been able to see it for a long time. I live with myself, I know how awful I can be and just how easily I can slip into old patterns. That old self is still firmly attached.
But not today - He gave me such a peace, and I am so grateful. He is working and changing me and I have very little to do with it - Praise Jesus!
So - back to Ephesians 3:20, which is really what came to me in meditating on all this. The Lord certainly deserves all the glory, which is what verse 21 is all about. But verse 20 is where my heart is today..."who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine..." This part of the sentence speaks volumes.
1. He is able - the word able in this sentence in Greek is dynamai, which our word dynamite comes from. It is used 219 times in the NT and it really speaks of being able to do something. To actually, in your own being, have the power. Jesus addresses this with James and John in Mark 10 when they ask to sit at His side in glory. His answer was a lot deeper than they could grasp at the time - but His point was they could not endure or carry through on, because of who they are as sinful humans, what Jesus was going to do on The Cross. That was His baptism and they did not have the power within themselves to do it. Only God could - and since Jesus is God....well, my point is this. Only He could do it. Only He, because of who He is, could do what He did. And I think that was His point to James and John too.
2. Able - I tried to find something that backs me up here (but couldn't so it's just my own speculation)- but I get the sense that this power He has is not something He uses in reserve. It has an expectancy to it - like He is just waiting to use it. The word speaks to me of an immediacy, that this explosive power is just waiting to be tapped.
3. Immeasurably more - (KJV says exceedingly) - Two very powerful words right after one another. Exceedingly is the Latin word "hyper" so if you think of a hyper child, that is the picture I get. Something over the top - WAY more than you can handle - maybe even way more than you want to!
4. More - (KJV says abundantly) - it's the word "ek" which has a very interesting definition. Thayer's Lexicon has it defined as something to which you were removed from - something that there has been close connection but you have been removed out of that into something greater. In other words "from out of".
5. ask or imagine - now I don't need a Greek or Latin translation to understand these words but just for fun - I looked them up. Ask is aiteo (a verb) meaning to call for, crave, desire, require. And imagine (or think in NKJV) is to perceive with the mind, to understand, to have understanding or to think upon, heed, ponder, consider.
So, in summary (as I've gone on long enough), what this verse and my meditation on the last 5 years are telling me is that I could not even being to comprehend I would be where I am today. He used His awesome power, explosive might, to remove me from and put me into a future that is so rich - my head might actually explode from trying to imagine it!!
Yes - that is exactly what He is telling me and you too!! And you know what that gives me? And expectant hope and excitement about what the next 5 years holds. He has said He will do it - over and over again and if I'm going to have it - I need to trust Him to do it. But at this point, I need to listen to His still, small voice. His plans are so good, I can't even understand them - they will not only meet my needs, but they will be more than I could ever handle and He will continue to bring me farther and farther out of this alien country into The Land He has promised. And as verse 21 states - only He gets the glory for it. AMEN!
Just wait....the ride has just begun......