"I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:18-19).
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, the day when many people send cards, chocolate or flowers to express their love for one another; and that is indeed very special. However, it also makes me think about how even the everyday love of God for us in Christ surpasses anything we can offer on our own, whether on Valentine's Day or at any other time. God's love is wider, longer, higher and deeper than we can ever fathom. It not only surpasses knowledge, but God in his omniscience knows just when we or someone else has a need for a special dose of that amazing and deep love. Moreover, God knows just when and just how to prompt us to do little things along the way, enabling us to be instruments in the process of getting that love where it is needed at just the right time.
In the writing part of her English final exam, Grace She, a freshman at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, wrote a brief testimony about a recent experience of God's omniscience at work in her life and that of another, an experience that also poured the powerful love from God into that other person's life just when she needed it most. Grace writes:
"Last night when I wondered what I could write about God's attributes, I sent a message to one of my former classmates whom I hadn't kept contact with for a long time. I would never think about this message inspiring a communication between my classmate and me and that in the end my classmate would receive encouragement. She told me that she is under heavy pressure. She not only has to take care of her mother who is ill, but also has to deal with her job. She feels so lonely and weak. I said, "I will pray for you and God's grace will always be sufficient for you." She said, "Thank God so much, because he knows I need comfort and encouragement, so he sent you to comfort me." Exactly, God is omniscient. He knows when the person is in need. He always takes care and provides for him on time.
Little could I have known that requiring my students to prepare testimonies centered on seeing God and God's attributes at work in our lives would prompt Grace to reconnect with someone she hadn't been in touch with for a long time as she searched her memory for a specific experience to share. Little did Grace know that the contact she initiated with her friend would become a vital part of God's bringing comfort, encouragement and love to that friend. Nevertheless, our all-knowing God saw the need and God used each of us along the way, and that day that friend received the gift of God's special love through the one God sent to bring her comfort and encouragement. All three of us felt filled with the fullness of God.
May we look for and celebrate the many ways in which God surpasses our limited knowledge to fill us with God's own love just when we need it and the many ways in which God enables us to be prompters and even instruments of that love for others in ways that reach beyond anything we ourselves could possibly imagine.