Beyond Imagination


But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:7-9

The last two weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions. My grandma, a woman I have loved, confided in, and admired for my entire life, has a body that is weakening daily. Our conversations are getting softer and shorter, and it is only a matter of time before the Lord takes her home. The frailty of the human body has been on full display. 

In the midst of this, God has been tangibly present. He has continued to use my grandma – in this weakened state – to show me what kindness and Christlikeness looks like even unto death. As she has peacefully mouthed the words of Psalm 23 and Great Is Thy Faithfulness, even while her body rages against her, I have witnessed this, “secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.” 

In the midst of this awareness of His beauty and loving care, God has brought the nations to Alton. In the last week, we’ve had visits from a Canadian friend who spends half of the year in Rwanda and Kenyan friends from African Christian Outreach. There isn’t time or space here to tell you all of the conversations that have been had through these visits – or all of the lives God has impacted through them – but they are vast. Because of my Canadian friend, Glenda’s, willingness to follow the Spirit’s leading nearly everywhere we went, I had the privilege of entering into so many people’s lives and stories – and thus, to see God move – in ways I couldn’t have imagined. 

One tiny example? In the shadow of the Arch, we met a Rwandese family who live in South St. Louis. Glenda knows the pastor who married them in Kigali. They invited me for dinner at their home in a few weeks, and we were able to mutually encourage one another as Christians. Think for a moment about the odds of this encounter even happening. A Canadian, an American, a Rwandese family…all followers of Jesus…mutual friends…in St. Louis, Missouri. 

As we told some of these stories around the dinner table on Tuesday, one friend remarked, “Wow. You couldn’t even write that!” And we couldn’t. 

This is our God. 

Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, fully divine and fully man, came to earth, lovingly died on a Roman cross for you and for me, and miraculously rose again three days later. 

If God truly did this – and He did – what might He have planned for you this week as you trust in Him? What thing which “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of imagined” might He have prepared for you?

Yes, He has a place prepared for us in eternity with Him. This is why my grandma – and why Kurt Weaver – have been able to say farewell to this world with such extraordinary grace and peace. 

But Jesus didn’t just talk about some kingdom in the future. When Jesus taught His followers to pray, He instructed them to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

The beauty of Easter is Jesus’ invitation to you and to me to play an active role in this kingdom that has broken into the present for the purpose of eternity – an invitation, that when accepted, leads to worship.

There is no greater story. There is no greater purpose. 

What would happen this week if you loved as though this were true? What would happen if your trip to the grocery store were viewed as a divine opportunity? What would happen if your life were lived with confidence that the kingdom has broken into the present?

Honestly, we can’t even imagine.

For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. – C.S. Lewis