This week I have been reading through Ephesians, and I was struck anew about how wonderful this passage of scripture is:
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every familya]”>[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name.16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 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, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
God’s love is a subject that has been on my mind a lot lately, following a recent read through the old novel The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. At one part in the book the priest makes the comment that it’s not that people can’t fathom that an all-powerful being like God exists; rather, it’s simply that they can’t fathom what it would mean to accept the fact that a being loves them that much.
This really hit home for me because when I’ve talked to atheists or agnostics, their reason seems to be more rooted in apathy rather than in any strong conviction that God does not exist. They simply don’t want to consider it. Because if we do acknowledge that God exists, that he loves us in such a profound way, we can’t help but fundamentally change the way we live, and serve, and worship, and be — in every sense of the word. It’s a huge responsibility, to accept such love, a love that surpasses knowledge.
As I begin this new year, one that is full of such uncertainty, I am actively working on living in a way that reflects an awareness of God’s love for me (!), a sinner, a deeply flawed human being, who needs his mercy every hour.
We don’t know what’s to come, but we do know that God’s love is eternal.
Happy New Year!
If you have a story about mental illness—whether personal or concerning a loved one—please consider sharing your experience, either by writing a guest post, or doing an interview with me. Even if you aren’t at a place yet where you feel comfortable disclosing your name, the church body needs your voice. Let’s shine a light on the darkness, together.