As I write this, we are still in early January and my mind has been dwelling a great deal on the future.
As I’m sure most of you are aware, 2016 promises to be a big year for the Gerrard family. My time at St. Anne’s Church will come to an end, and I will become a vicar of my own parish elsewhere (this was always the plan, and part of the system that the Church of England uses). We, as a family, have no idea when we will move, or where we will move to. We have no idea what kind of challenges are ahead. I remember thinking in the early hours of New Years Day how unknown 2016 is for us. (Rest assured, as soon as we know something, I will share it with you)
During this process of unknowing one particular verse has stood out for me that I would like to share with you.
“Now to the God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20
Paul is writing to a group of Christians and this verse is just a snippet from a much longer stream of thought. One of the reasons I love this verse is because it reveals one of the mysteries of the Christian life – that there is a force, a divine power at work in the world and it is on our side. And this God who is at work in the world, he wants you to thrive, he wants you to find joy, he wants to be present with us, even in loss and heartache and defeat. One of the devils great lies is that “This is as good as it gets”. It is a lie, because God is at work, God is on your side, and he is able to do immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine.
By the way, the world “able” in the verse is the Greek word ‘Dynameno’, it’s were we get the word ‘dynamite’. So the verse tells us about the one who is able to bring some dynamite to whatever you could ask or imagine. This is a powerful, explosive, nuclear force.
At the heart of the prayer is the assumption that there is some sort of power at work in the universe. Have you been trying to do something in your own steam? Have you just kept pulling, just kept trying, and it’s not happening. Maybe you need to let go. You’ve given it everything you’ve got, and it didn’t become what you wanted. Maybe you just need to surrender it and open yourself up to forces and power way beyond you.
Do you have a specific situation that is driving you mental? It’s so frustrating, so depressing, so discouraging. Maybe you need to open yourself up and invite God into the situation.
Maybe you are facing, like me, your own unknown. I invite you to open up you hands (physically do this if it helps) and invite in the God who can do immeasurably more than all we ask our imagine according to his power that is at work within us.
I may not know what the future holds, but I do know who holds my future – and he’s on my side. I pray that each of you would know the same.