Sometimes it's refreshing to read familiar verses of Scripture in a different translation or paraphrase. Here's where I was meditating one day this week.
Eph. 3:14-20: (Msg)
...I ask him[the Father] to strengthen you by his Spirit-not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength-that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know--far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
I've prayed some wild requests and thought, God can do even more than this, more than I'm capable of thinking right now. He never lets us down and he isn't limited to what we ask him for. I'm so glad.
Another day this week I listened to a radio podcast on The Smart Stepdad. If you've searched for good material or support for stepparenting, Ron Deal has some practical and encouraging advice. I'll let you listen for yourself: http://www.wbcl.org/media-manager-week.aspx Scroll down to Thurs. Aug. 11 on the web page. (If you check this out at some later time, you may have to find this date in the program's archives) My husband and I have combined two families and have gleaned from Ron's expertise. Our kids are gone from the house, but we are still learning how relationships work in this setting. We put together a curriculum from Ron's materials for a small group study. Ron's organization now has a DVD and study series available, also. For any local people, we are open to going through the study with anyone who would like to learn more about building a successful step family. God's grace is awesome and his gifts are given generously!
Generously! Consider just a few ways of how our Father gives:
The Magi brought gifts to Baby Jesus that if sold, probably sustained Mary and Joseph during the ensuing years of their flight to Eygpt.
Water turned to wine was a generous wedding gift, considering the miracle happened near the end of the celebration. Perhaps the leftover wine was sold and the money used for the young couple's start-up costs.
Not only were 5,000 some people fed with a few loaves of bread and fishes, but there was more food than they all could eat. I'll bet the overage went for some further need the Father wanted to provide for.
When taxes needed to be paid, Jesus took a withdrawl from one of his vaults-- the mouth of a fish! Mt. 17:27
He imparted healings whether asked for with loud cries or just a timid touch to his garment. He offered living water to one who others would have labeled less than worthy.
Be encouraged! We have a God who gives beyond what we can ask or think. Watch for his generosity to you.