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.
For the last 8 or 9 months, this has been my favorite verse. Everytime I read it, it's like it sinks in further and further. God is SO GREAT and SO POWERFUL, that He can do way more than we can even think or imagine. You can't even imagine it! How AWESOME is that? I don't know about you, but I've got a pretty vivid imagination. There are a lot of things I can imagine. When I was young and bored, I would daydream and make up a life in my mind and live it. Weirdo, I know, but that's what I had to entertain myself. :) You could live your entire life on this earth and never come remotely close to even thinking or imagining how amazing and powerful God is. Wow. (It just sank in a little deeper here.) You can be in the bottom of the lowest pit, pray for the most far-fetched (by human terms) way for God to get you out of that pit, and He has the capability to save you in a far more grandious way than what you thought. Deep stuff there. Capability doesn't mean He will, but that's a different post altogether. Sometimes what is best for us isn't anything on our radar of thinking.
God is so good, He's so good to me. I read Radical by David Platt last year, and at the end of the book, there's a 5 step experiment, or challenge for the reader to complete within a year's time. My year window has come and gone, so here is the synopsis of my challenge accomplishments.
1. Read the entire Bible through chronologically: Finished it 2 1/2 weeks ago. Undoubtedly one of the biggest feelings of accomplishment in my life, and the power of The Word was (and continues to be) utterly life-changing like nothing else I've experienced. It is NOT just a story you read. It. Will. Change. Your. Life.
2. Pray for the entire world: I had several off days, I'll admit, but for the most part, I prayed for a specific country each day over the last year. Operation World is a fabulous reference for this. I signed up for daily emails so all I had to do was click on the link each day and it directed me to the country to pray for with topics for prayer and praise.
3. Multiplying community: This was a hard one. I feel like I reached out (and still reach out) to invite people to visit church, City Gate (our downtown ministry), MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), but I know there is so much more that I could, and should, do here.
4. Sacrifice my money for a specific purpose: Another hard one. I did try to cap our family spending (I mean, I did start couponing, right?), and we committed to give a small portion to missionaries, organizations, etc. on top of tithing, but I don't feel like I adequately fulfilled this one. Can we ever, though? There is always a little more that we can do.
5. Spend time in another context: Specifically, plan to spend 2% of the next year of your life (a week) in Gospel ministry outside of your community for the sake of God's glory in all the world. This was the one that stood out as the most important to accomplish in my experiment. My trip outside of my community (and country) might not be within the given year's time frame, but the planning for it started within the year, so I'll count that. :) I'm a part of a mission team from Meridian that is going to Costa Rica in January! I am so excited, nervous, scared, anxious, and insufficient to be a part of this team. The great thing is, though, that God can do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine when He is at work within me, so don't you know I'll be spending lots of time in prayer that He'll do just that! This will be my first mission experience outside of the country, and I can not wait to see what God shows me through it. I want to experience His manifest presence and gain a more loving heart for His people. Please pray with me over the next few months. I'd really appreciate it. :) God is already answering prayers and blessing our trip. When I signed up to go a couple of months ago, the expected trip cost (which I am responsible for) was between $1100 and $1200. Well, within the last week, plane tickets have plummeted, saving me almost $300, and the state convention has agreed to partially fund our trip! My $1200 cost has been cut almost in half! God is so good, He's so good to me!
I am so abundantly blessed! God has done so much in my life in the last two years to bring me closer to Him. Abundantly more than I could have ever imagined my life would be as I daydreamed about it those many years ago. :) In the words I use to explain the reason my sweet husband hasn't had more car accidents in his life, "Somebody must be praying for you (me)!" Thank you to those on Earth who do, and to those in Heaven as well. I can tell you're looking down on me. :)