More Than We Can Ask
As we wrestle with mantle cell lymphoma which has gone into my brain, and which is, at present, responding to high dose chemotherapy, my thoughts go to lots of places. One of those places is Jesus the Healer. As Paul wrote to Gaius in 3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” I like that passage because the emphasis is on God’s simultaneous ministry to both body and soul! We need both.
Another scripture which comes to me is Matthew 24:44: “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” While I think this passage primarily refers to the return of Christ at a time which we do not know, I think it also encourages us to be ready to go to Him at a time we do not foresee.”
So I have these two almost contradictory thoughts jostling around in my mind: On the one hand Jesus wants to heal body and soul. On the other hand, we need to be ready to go to Him at any time.
Then another scripture came which perhaps bridges the space between these verses. At first I thought only of Ephesians 3:20 where Paul prays that God, “by the power at work in us,” “will do more than we can ask or think!” What a wonderful thought: to expect God to do more than what I am currently asking Him to do or hoping for Him to do!
But let’s look at the surrounding verses in Ephesians 3 beginning at verse 16: “16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 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, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:16-21)
In other words Paul is praying that we his readers and listeners might be so filled with Christ that His love overwhelms us—and that we grasp the ungraspable and know the unknowable—the incredible love of God for us. All this will happen to the end that we are filled with the very fullness of God in our own beings, knowing that God will do far more than we can ask, think, or imagine! And finally God will receive great glory though this process taking place in us.
Complete Transformation though Intimate Communion with God in Christ, being Indwelt by Him, glorifying Him. That is what God is promising.
Winfield Casey Jones is a retired pastor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The column first appears in the Pearland and Friendswood Reporter News.