“I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers. I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God.”
– Ephesians 3:18-19, CEB –
Thinking of a blog post topic can sometimes be quite the challenge. Yes–believe it or not, I actually run out of words sometimes.
When I do, I think back over my week, or month, and ponder the struggles that my friends are experiencing. I think of what I’ve been reading. I mull over a verse or two from my family’s Bible reading time. Most of the time, I come up with something that I hope will be of use to someone.
So I came up with a topic a few days ago, and even started a draft today. I know at least two friends that would directly relate to the topic. I pondered making it into a list post. Lists are always good.
And then I stopped and realized…maybe this week we don’t need another how-to. Not this time.
Maybe — for just a moment — we need to stop and remember.
This morning, I read this quote:
The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.”
– Julian of Norwich –
That’s it. It is very simple.
This is not a test, or an indictment, or an accusation.
I don’t want a show of hands.
I won’t ask you to rate your “living gladly” experience last week.
Because that isn’t the point.
I know you’ve messed up. I know I’ve shamefully disregarded an amazing love. I know that the sin we choose is sometimes piled a mile high. It is painfully apparent. We just don’t often live gladly.
We just don’t often ponder his love. At least for me, not often enough.
But take your eyes off your failure for a moment. And fix them on Him.
This is not another task for the to-do list. Forget the to-do list.
But…why? Why live gladly? And how…how in all this mess do we live gladly? In the middle of traffic and stress and neighbors that die, and friends that lie, and churches that split, perpetual bad news, and muffins that burn in the too-hot oven.
How can we live gladly? Why, even?
“Because of the knowledge of his love.”
Not cognitive assent. It’s more like fixation. Obsession. Total focus. Unashamed staring at the sublime mystery of grace. It’s less an academic exercise and more the awed gasp when the dawn clouds break away from the mountain tops.
Captivation with His love.
I can keep writing. I can spin you a few hundred more dancing words, but there is something else even better:
Why don’t you look at Him a little while and ponder His love for you?
You won’t ever live gladly on your own. You can’t. Not by following the commandments. Not by getting your life together. Only in turning away from your insufficiency and basking in His absolute sufficiency, you will unearth the only spring of joy. Or perhaps He will unearth it in you.
The One who alone can make your life glad with His immense goodness.
Now that is inspiration.
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
― G.K. Chesterton ―