Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his [children] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times have reached their fulfillment- to bring all things in heaven and on earth under one head, even Christ. Ephesians 1:3-11
What love! As I read these words, I am overwhelmed by what they communicate. Paul uses words such as lavished, and riches, and grace to communicate the vastness and passion of God’s love for his children in Christ Jesus. I am struck, because I don’t live there – basking in that love. And I want to.
But no, all I see is bleakness, stress, more things to do, more relationships in which I have disappointed, more relationships in which I have been disappointed, aches, pain, and brokenness. Why is that all I can see, when God the Father has lavished his love upon me in Christ Jesus???
I want to see. I want to take hold daily of this love that is already mine in Christ! I want to live in it, in spite of what is going on in my life. I want to know it more than the darkness that surrounds. I want the power of that love to energize me to walk with great hope and faith even when I don’t feel it, even in the darkness. I want to remember that God did not promise an easy life, there will be trials, there will be suffering, there will be sickness, this side of Heaven. But he has given Christ for our redemption – therefore we belong to him, to God the Father. And with him as our Abba, Daddy, we can walk any path because we walk in the strength that comes from knowing we are greatly loved by him.
And so, Paul prays for us, also in Ephesians 1, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
He has given us much in Christ Jesus. Choose to see.