Encouragement as we Re-enter the Atmosphere

Home education re-commences here at our house today, after a three week break.   It was a refreshing break, but executing a graceful return to routine is sometimes a challenge.

We all have to work together the first week to get the ship back in the water, so to speak.  And sometimes there’s a fair bit of lurching and scrambling before we have smooth sailing again.

By good providence this morning, Jon and I woke up at 4am without the alarm.   So I got an extra hour of quiet this morning to read and prepare.   That was such a sweet gift!

And after I finished my regular readings, I had a little time to follow a few rabbit trails in search of some good ideas to share with my kids. (I am in 2 Kings now, also reading through Psalm where I am at Psalm 141, and reading a Proverb a day, and trying to memorize Philippians with a few others.)

My reading in Philippians made me think I wanted to find a good bit of scripture to pray for the kids, and the widow with the oil in 2 Kings 4  had caused me to stop and wonder  how well I am teaching my kids to expect really big things from God.   So with these two ideas in mind, I went to the back of my Thompson Chain Reference.

After some meandering around,    I ended up in Ephesians 3:14 – 19, where Paul is praying for the Ephesians, saying:

“…I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through this 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.”

And that is a great thing to be praying for the kids today!    So I’m praying for that for us all.  Think of what it will be like to see that prayer being answered in our lives.   For us to be strengthened through the Spirit in our inner being, I understand that kind of strength and I want it more.  That is strength to stand firm for what’s right, and to lean on the Spirit for confidence in the truth of what we’ve been taught.  That would lead to all kinds of outrageous obedience.   Being rooted and established in love would mean, for one thing, that we would not be rooted and established in always having to be the one who is right, always having to have our own way.   We would be extending ourselves for one another all over the place.

And this business of grasping how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ is huge.  It sounds huge.  He’s saying that it’s more enormous than our ability to naturally grasp and understand it.  It means that God has to stretch our minds and hearts so we can  understand.  I want that.  And I want that for my family.

And then, in my little journal where I keep notes on whatever I am reading, I was looking around, and stumbled upon a quote from John Bunyan.   This is a little passage from his book All Loves Excelling , and is speaking about exactly those verses in Ephesians.   How cool is that!   And it’s such a wonderful and encouraging paragraph, I have to share it:

“The High God is yours;  the God that fills heaven and earth is yours;  the God whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain is yours, yea, the God whose works are wonderful, and whose ways are past finding out, is yours!  Consider therefore the greatness that is for you, that taketh part with you, and that will always come in for your help against them that contend with you.     It is my support, it is my relief, it is my comfort in all my tribulations,  and I would have it be yours, and so it will when we live in the lively faith thereof.”

And what could be more encouraging than that?   I hope everybody who’s reading this can share in this prayer, as this great God is yours and He wants you to understand who He is.

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