In talking with our oldest daughter on a facetime call a couple of weeks ago, she reminded me of a verse that I hadn’t pondered on in a while. Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Other versions use different wording such as “far more abundantly,” “more than you could ever imagine,” “more than we could ask,” My personal favorite is “exceedingly abundantly.”
I had heard a story on a Christian Radio Network years ago by popular evangelist, and this story always stuck with me and have shared it many times.
Years ago, a famous golfer was invited by the king of Saudi Arabia to play in a golf tournament. He accepted the invitation, and the king flew his private jet over to the United States to pick up the pro. They played golf for several days, and enjoyed a good time. As the golfer was getting on the plane to return to the United States, the king stopped him and said, “I want to give you a gift for coming all this way and making this time so special. Anything you want. What could I get you?”
Ever the gentleman, the golfer replied, “Oh, please; don’t get me anything. You’ve been a gracious host. I’ve had a wonderful time. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
The king was adamant. He said, “No, I insist on giving you something so you will always remember your journey to our country.”
When the golfer realized that the king was resolute, he said, “Okay, fine. I collect golf clubs. Why don’t you give me a golf club?”
He boarded the plane, and on his flight back home, he couldn’t help wondering what kind of golf club the king might give him. He imagined that it might be a solid gold putter with his name engraved on it. Or maybe it would be a sand wedge studded with diamonds and jewels. After all, this would be a gift from the oil-rich king of Saudi Arabia.
When the golfer got home, he watched the mail and the delivery services every day, to see if his golf club had come yet. Finally, several weeks later, he received a certified letter from the king of Saudi Arabia. The U.S. professional thought that rather strange. Where’s my golf club? he wondered. He opened the envelope, and to his surprise, inside he discovered a deed to a five-hundred-acre golf course in America.
I don’t know if that story is true or not, but I can say that God has provided ‘exceedingly abundantly’ many times over in my life. How has He provided exceedingly abundantly in your life?
There was a time, years ago, when my first husband, our son David who was about 18 months old, and my in-laws went on a beach vacation. That was before debit cards or apple pay was a way of life. Cash was the only way to go at the time. We would be away for almost two weeks, so David’s dad’s wallet was relatively abundant. One of the first mornings we were there, we all decided to go out to breakfast on the boardwalk. We sported our summer and beach attire and were off. After having breakfast, we joined in with the thousands of people who were wandering the boardwalk. They were going in the shops, heading to the beach, or out for morning exercise in the sun. A few hours after meandering the surfside establishments, we walked back to the car and went back to the beach house. My husband realized that his wallet was no longer in his shorts pocket!
What?? There were two weeks of vacation money there, along with credit cards and other essential items that we carry with us. That reality smacked us in the face, and he immediately started to call and cancel credit cards. I prayed.
Instinctively, I grabbed the keys to the car and went back to the boardwalk, determined to find the wallet. I went back to the restaurant and spoke with the owner, and nobody had seen it. The owner told me that in that vacation environment with thousands of people, I would never see the wallet or its content again. I was sure he was wrong as I headed out of the restaurant and onto the boardwalk with thousands of heads bobbing along before me. I made my way across the wooden planks to the seaside railing. A boardwalk police officer was leaning against the fence on his bicycle, overlooking the crowd. As I approached him, he and I made eye contact through the group of people. When I reached him, he said, ‘what can I do for you? I explained that several hours earlier, we were on the boardwalk along with the multitudes, and we lost a wallet filled with our vacation money. He looked at me and smiled and said, “are you from Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania?” “YES!”, I said shocked that he knew that. He went on to say, “I found the wallet, myself, a couple of hours ago, and it is at the police station ready for pickup.”
Really, What?? Exceedingly abundantly. Not only did I immediately go directly to the one person, out of thousands there that morning, but he was the very person who found the wallet and turned it in. Thankfully and gratefully, I went to the police station, and sure enough, the wallet was there after I proved my identity. Not only was the wallet there, but so were all of the credit cards and all of the cash!
I went back to the beach house, where I told the story of the wallet to my astonished family. “What are the chances?” “Isn’t it a coincidence?” No, it was the exceedingly abundantly, or immeasurably more, the providence of God.
My thoughts turn to the stories of the golf club or wallet frequently as I go about my days. God is still in the ‘immeasurably more’ and ‘exceedingly abundantly’ business. Even on our most challenging days where the dark clouds hang around us, and things may look bleak, and without hope, our God will sprinkle ‘immeasurably more’ happenings around us. Friends will call, something will happen, the sun will shine through the clouds, but God will bless us “exceedingly abundantly.” We have to be on the lookout and watch for it expectantly.
Listen to this beautiful song, “Exceedingly Abundantly” by Paul Baskin.
Be Blessed to Be a Blessing to Others,