Those of you who KNOW our family probably also KNOW that when athletic ability was handed out, each of us Addingtons probably had our nose in a good book or had all our devices turned up too loudly, listening to our great eclectic playlists on shuffle. Alas, we missed the first few “physical skills” distribution rounds! (Thankfully our two sons-in-law have mightily improved the gene pool!)
BUT…I’m going to HUMBLY let you in on a BIG secret: I was pretty decent in racquetball in the OLDEN DAYS! I could even beat the guys from time to time. (And, NO, they did not have one hand tied behind their back!) I had an amazing killer-serve which I have happily passed onto son Joel who is actually GOOD in racquetball in the HERE and NOW!!!!
Tennis seems a lot like racquetball, doesn’t it? When playing either game, one uses a medium-sized racquet, firmly hitting a small tangerine-sized, springy ball back and forth between two opponents. So why was it that when I tried tennis, prior to and during my racquetball heyday, that I was spending a lot more time chasing the ball than smashing it powerfully?
The answer: NO WALLS! I always seemed to hit the ball too hard, too far. The four racquetball court walls (plus ceiling!) kept those balls safely contained no matter how well or poorly the ball was whacked. Oh, how I loved those walls!
Whenever I read Ephesians 3:20 I picture those wall-free tennis courts. Why? I’ll explain. Read this verse noticing the words in bold print:
Now to Him who is able to do
than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.
A few years ago I discovered, in my NIV Exhaustive Concordance, that the word IMMEASURABLY is a compound word (hyperekperissos) and broken down into three other word parts:
Hyper – above, beyond, more than
Ek – out of, away from, extension from a space to a goal outer in reference
Perissos – going beyond, exceeding, full, abundant, more than (Also used in John 10:10 describing our promised “fullness of life!”)
OUTSIDE THE WALLS
Maybe it doesn’t grab you like it does me, but stopping to look at those compound words impacted me greatly. I was freshly struck by the fact that HE is able to GO OUTSIDE “THE WALLS,” SO FAR OUTSIDE “THE WALLS” THAT I CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE IT! NO WALL, NO FENCE, NO RESTRICTION, IN FACT, NOTHING REINS HIM IN, IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM!
These thoughts make me scurry back to the word INCOMPREHENSIBLE, because HE JUST IS!
Secondly and so gloriously, it also makes me relax! That verse tells me that I can’t even begin to IMAGINE or ASK as big as HE CAN DO AND BE! He is God and I am not!
Thirdly, I am blown away that this infinitely, uncontainable, most holy God chose to make Himself finite as a man, even being nailed to a cross FOR ME! FOR YOU!
An ancient hymn says it so well and paints a powerful picture:
Thou who was rich, beyond all splendor, all for love’s sake became a man.
Throne for a manger did surrender, sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Boundless, Inexhaustible Loving Lord, please help me take the time to ponder how immeasurable YOU ARE! Help me see YOU in things so small, so minute, that no one else knows but YOU AND ME… and in things so big that YOU are like a mirage in the far distance making me squint! Help me relax totally IN YOUR INFINITE WAYS!
Sue Addington lives with her husband, Tom, in Fayetteville. She confesses that she has always had much to share, which is evidenced by her early report cards. God has used that passion for sharing in her as a public school teacher, and especially teaching the Bible to women. These days, she does most of her “sharing” through mentoring.