The one who is able

One of my wife's favorite passages of Scripture:

"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. 

I have a complicated relationship with these words. I think more often I've prayed and God did significantly less than I asked for. I can remember praying in the 70s that Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev would come to Christ. It didn't happen (as far as I know). In the 2000s I prayed that Osama Bin Laden would come to Christ. That didn't happen (as far as I know). When I told my wife how I was praying for Osama, she said that sounds good, but don't get disappointed if it does not happen. She knows me well.

I notice Paul clearly does not say God will give us more than all we can ask for or imagine. He says God is able to do more than all we ask or im

But I have seen God answer with more than I asked. In 2001 right after a conference which had talked about mentoring, I was in church thinking I wasn't sure anyone had ever mentored me. And I prayed, God mentor me. I don't quite remember what I was expecting, but I look back and realize God has been answering that prayer for years now. I believe I have been mentored now. Yet keep it coming, Lord, I need more. 

And I'm sure when I see God face to face, I will see how much more he has done, far beyond what I have asked for or imagined. Saying he is able won't be such a theoretical exercise as it often feels now. 

However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him— 1 Cor 2:9, also Isaiah 64:4

No comments: