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 the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. NIV
At first glance, this might not seem like a reminder not to worry … but it is.
Christ is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
All we ask …
Often, my prayers are machine-gun like … “God, I need this, and this, and this, and this; and so-and-so needs this, that and the other thing; and this is coming; and you know all of this, and I’m so stressed about it; and take this stress; and thank you.”
Over the last several days, I’ve been convicted that I ask a lot, but that I don’t listen or wait for an answer. I tend to throw all of my worries over my head to God, and then rush off, fearing that if I stay, gravity will take over, and they will all come to rest right back on my head.
But, God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask.
Do we try to micro manage God? I think the answer is, “yes.” We want an outcome, a specific outcome, at this time and in this place and in this way. We know that we don’t control the future, we acknowledge things to come as being under His control, but, don’t we try to gain a little of that control for ourselves by requesting the outcomes that will meet our needs?
But, God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask … and, here’s the kicker … or imagine!
God’s plan is so much bigger, His power so much greater, that my feeble mind can’t even imagine it!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
The image I have is of three concentric circles. I’m in the middle one. If I look only to myself, to my own skills and abilities, there are things that I know that I can accomplish. I know that either because I’ve done them before, or because accomplishing even a new thing would require the knowledge, skills and abilities that I have been proven to possess. Staying in my own circle, there are several things that I can accomplish. None of them require faith.
In the next circle are my family and friends. Many things that I cannot accomplish on my own can be easily managed if I will enlist the help of a friend. For instance, I can’t do math in my head, but, I have a childhood friend who excels at this. She recently sat in on a discussion I was leading. I knew that if anything mathematical arose in that discussion, while I would be caught flat footed, I could quickly look to her and she would have already calculated the answer. She does this automatically. It is one of the skills and abilities that God chose to give her, but not me. That confidence of knowing that I wouldn’t have to struggle with math in my head or to look stupid did not require faith, it required only the presence of my friend.
The third circle is amorphous. And, while the first two exist in two dimensions in my head, like hula hoops on the ground, the third is spherical, it exists in three dimensions, and I’m completely uncertain of its size or potential.
That sphere is what God can accomplish, if I and my friends and family are willing to step outside our own little circles and allow Him to work through us.
That sphere is limitless … it is of a size “immeasurable more than I can ask or imagine.” To access it, to live in it, requires faith, not worry or doubt. Living in that sphere requires faith that God can and will deliver in ways that will bring glory only to Him. To experience that, I must cease my rapid-fire asking. I must wait upon the Lord. I must be still and await His instructions.
That’s what I’ll think about today.