I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
I have prayed this passage over my family and friends for years. Much better than praying for someone to pass a test or have a great day, don’t you think? It holds such remarkable perspective-giving power. I think that when Paul wrote this passage he must’ve been at the beach, or on a ship. Each night this week, I pulled a beach chair out under the stars and just sat. To hear the surf and to observe the expanse of the heavens is awe-inspiring. It blows my mind to try to imagine how many stars there are, yet he knows each of them. This fact has the ability to make me realize just how tiny I am in the grand scheme of things. A dot really. That is all I am. For me, this is a freeing thought because it makes my problems, including a spot on my liver, even smaller and God plenty big to handle them. To think of him caring about a dot when the universe is at his fingertips demonstrates his love completely.
The first part of this verse “out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being” comes to life in the stars. His glorious riches have to include the sea in all of its power and beauty as well as the stars in their fiery, spectacular light. When I gaze on either, I feel strengthened in my inner being. My faith in Christ grows in these moments of solitude. There is nothing to distract my view of him here. No streetlights or technology. No conversations or worries. Just the steady beating of the waves on the shore and stars as far as you can see. Creation speaks volumes about his love, if we will listen.
If I am rooted, and established…I am growing. For sea oats to grow they must be rooted, in sand. Not an easy task I would think, however, they grow. At night, in the light of the moon, you can see them swaying even in the strong breezes of the sea. They are established. They hold tight to the ground on which they develop. And so do we if that ground is the love of God…it is where the power is found. Our roots must dig in and stand fast to his love for us, because it is at the core of our being, not to be blown away but to establish our life. To ground us.
The next part of the verse is the most amazing to me. To grasp how long and high and deep is the love of Christ I simply sit and observe. How long? As long as it takes to reach the horizon. How high? As high as the stars. How wide? As wide as the ocean and its shoreline. A perfect picture of the size of his love for me. Overwhelming to think of it like this. It surpasses knowledge and it fills me with the fullness of God. I walk from the beach, in the dark of night with the light of a billion stars to lead my way. As I look up God winks at me with a falling star…twice. I smile at his attention and love for me. I have been with God in all of his glory. I am full to overflowing.