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. Ephesians 3:20-21
We have this tendency, this bad habit: due to our own misconceptions we often limit God or in our minds make him something other than what he is. All too frequently we limit God to being little more than the best version of ourselves we can think of.
But Paul says that God can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. The implication is that he can do immeasurably more because he is immeasurably more.
Why are we so prone to limit God? To sell him short? Are we so afraid God will let us down?
Perhaps the issue is that we know he will let us down. Let’s be honest: God has let us all down…many, many times. We have asked, he has not answered. We have wanted one thing from him, he has given a completely different thing. Or he has given (by our estimation) nothing. What’s important (and admittedly counter-intuitive) is to understand that this isn’t a bad thing.
Think about it, if God is working in ways far beyond our ability to ask or imagine then often times he isn’t going to do what we ask, he isn’t going to work out what we’ve imagined would be “perfect.” He is going to go beyond, to more; he is going to offer different than what we asked of him.
Why? Because God is immeasurably more.
It’s easier in retrospect to thank God for unanswered prayers. Looking back it often makes sense like it never did in the moment. Looking back we can see how God was doing immeasurably more than what we could have imagined at the moment.
But what would it look like for us to trust more in the moment? To remember that God is doing immeasurably more than we are asking for. To expect that sometimes God “disappoints” because he won’t answer our very measurable, very controlled request. He is doing more. So much more it cannot be measured by our tiny brains!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
It is good to have a God so beyond our ability to imagine! Frightening and frustrating at times, but ultimately good! In fact, it’s far better than we can fathom.