Grasping the Love of Christ

Ephesians 3:17b-19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, 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.

This is an awesome prayer right here, but it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.  At least on the surface it doesn’t.  The first part is Paul praying that they grasp the greatness of the love of Christ.  This word grasp means: to get hold of mentally; comprehend; understand. Let me use it in a sentence:  Paul I don’t quite grasp what you are saying here.  That is the word grasp – to get it, to possess the knowledge needed for understanding.  Then Paul goes on to say that you should also know that this love surpasses knowledge.  Wait a minute.  You want me to grasp the greatness of the love and also to grasp that it cannot be grasped?  (Oh good, I’m started to right like Paul now)

Pray tell, how does someone go about understanding that something cannot be understood?  I’m glad you asked, because I am going to tell you.  The only way that you can do this is by pursuing it.  And by “it” I mean pursuing the understanding of the object.  Once you get close enough to the object, you may find that the object itself cannot be understood.  It goes beyond your understanding.

I’ll continue.  When I didn’t really know God very closely and I didn’t know much about Him, I thought I had Him figured out. He seemed pretty simple really: a big guy in the sky wanting to love people and if they didn’t love Him back He would ban them to Hell.  I can laugh at this shortsighted view of God now, but to many people, that is who God is.  What I am finding, however, is that the closer I get to God the more I really know Him.  And the more I know Him the less He makes sense. If I try to sit down and intellectually ponder who God is, my brain might explode.  Why?  Because God isn’t that simple.  He far exceeds my comprehension. And yet I can say that I am rooted and established in Him and that I grasp who He is.  It’s just that part of that grasping is knowing that I can’t grasp Him.

Such is the way with the love of Christ.  He wants us to fully understand to our maximum ability what His love is to us.  He also wants us to be okay with the fact that His love is so great that we cannot possibly fully grasp it.  That’s where peace really thrives.  It’s when we just sit back and receive, and it doesn’t make sense that we truly get to “know” it.  I, for one, appreciate not understanding God fully.  It means that there is a part of Him that I can be in awe of or even in fear of.  He scares me a little.  And I am okay with that.  When I say that His ways are higher than my ways, I can let go of the battle in my mind and let Him be God.  It is in that place that His incomprehensibly great love and peace flow into our lives.

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