Cover 2015-06-21

More Than We Ask or Imagine

A 60-year-old couple was celebrating their 40th year of marriage. During the celebration, a genie appeared and said, "Because you have been such a loving couple all those years, I would like to give you each one wish." The wife quickly chimed in, "I want to travel around the world." The genie waved his arms and, POOF!, she had the tickets in her hand.

Next, it was the husband's turn. He paused for a moment, then said shyly, "Well, I'd like to have a wife 30 years younger than me." The genie waved his arms and, POOF!, he was 90.

We seem to be fascinated by stories of magic genies granting wishes (why is it usually three wishes?). Which of us hasn't sat and wondered at some point in time, "If a genie granted me three wishes, what would I wish for?" God is not, as some imagine Him, a magic genie waiting at our beck and call to give us everything we ask for (see James 4:3). But there is certainly that level of power and ability at His disposal. Listen to these words of Paul:

"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, NIV).

God is able to do more than I ask of Him. That's pretty amazing, considering that I have some pretty difficult requests. Furthermore (and this is really mind-boggling), God is able to do more than I can even imagine! I don't know about you, but I can imagine quite a bit. Yet, Paul assures us that God is not only able to do all that we ask or imagine -- he is able to do more, immeasurably more!

When things in life are beyond my control, I find comfort in knowing that God has such power -- not the power of an imaginary genie but the power of a living awesome Father. Sometimes we offer to pray for others saying, "It's the least I can do." How wrong we are. Considering the power of God, it's the most we can do! -Alan Smith