Sunday, April 29, 2007

The power of (grasping) love

My pastor is preaching through Ephesians and this morning's sermon covered the third chapter. I'd been reading it all week, preparing my heart and mind for this weekend's homily. I thought I had it down. But, oh, how wrong I was.

In his excitement, Paul keeps getting sidetracked and takes until the very end of this third chapter to finally tell the believers at Ephesus what his prayer for them is.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I made a special note in the margin of my Bible that grasping, understanding, this love of Christ takes power. Paul uses the word twice. That's from the Holy Spirit, and I've got the Holy Ghost power, amen. But as Mike preached and expounded on this perfect love that God has for us, this love that will never let us go, this love divine, all love's excelling, I realized how very little of it I understand, how far I come from truly grasping it. Indeed, my hold on this love is tenuous and tentative at best.

The truth is, I don't trust God's love. I think He's fickle sometimes. I think His love is hard and demanding, tough love. That's what I expect from God. I want His tender compassion and His mercy renewed every morning, but too often, I look around and think: This is it? So I am disappointed and decide that God must be sovereign and lofty and oh so good, but I have a lurking doubt about that love part.

Now I know why Paul's prayer for the Ephesians was so passionate and so important that it needed to become part of Scripture. I think this must be God's desire for us: to know His infinite, gracious, tender love; to trust in it, and in Him, completely; to grasp it, knowing that He is grasping us in His own tight grip and will never let us go.

1 comment:

Halfmoon Girl said...

Hi, I found you through CWO. I have 2 children of divorce from my first marriage- and that is such a raw spot in my heart. I wish I could go back in time, do it right the first time, and pick someone who would have put them first. I constantly have to give my worries to the Lord as i think about how the lack of involvement from her father will after my daughter in her teens and beyond.