God is in the business of exceeding human expectations.
Ephesians 3:20 says that God is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” For every longing and desire that stirs our hearts, God will ultimately exceed our expectations. This is one of the awesome promises of Scripture.
There are times when this truth gets fulfilled before our very eyes. God often allows his Body, the Church, to be the vehicle he uses to accomplish this in modest-but-tangible ways. Over the last month, Elmhurst CRC has had some pretty stunning examples of exceeded expectations.
First, God exceeded every goal and hope we had through Elmhurst CRC’s first ever Mobility Equipment Drive. Literally hundreds and hundreds of pieces of equipment have been collected and will be shared. When we do good, God’s great creative freedom magnifies the righteous energy. For example, we had one family share two walkers with us that belonged to a beloved parent who had passed aways six-months earlier. This was the very first thing that we were able to let go. Through tears and smiles this family (from outside our church) expressed deep gratitude for the opportunity to share and simultaneously begin an honest grieving process. God’s Spirit was moving there, exceeding expectations.
Second, we challenged our leaders — and later the congregation — to respond to God’s good work over the last ministry year with generous giving and financial support this June. We began the month with a nearly $200k deficit, significantly behind the budget and receipts our congregation approved in early 2019. As of today, that deficit has been decimated, totally eliminated. Amazing! God Spirit has been moving here, exceeding expectations.
Third, the movements of God’s Spirit are being sensed, noticed, and mentioned by an increasing number of folks around Elmhurst CRC. One way I observe this is in a heightened responsiveness in Sunday morning worship. Another way I observe this is in the stories people keep telling about “coincidences” that confirm a direction, sacrifice, or kindness that God is leading them toward. I can’t pinpoint exactly where this spiritual momentum coming from, but I am so grateful that God’s Spirit is on the move. I’m praying that we can be wise enough to ride this spiritual wave and be wise enough not to hinder, nor get in the way! God’s Spirit is moving in our midst, exceeding expectations.
Finally, as we move into July, God is inviting many of us into a slower season of summer rest. Elmhurst CRC is an action packed, pedal-to-the-metal place eleven-months of the year. July is a different animal. No administrative meetings are scheduled. Most ministries take a breather.
Of course, we still worship on Sunday, read the Scriptures daily, and pray without ceasing.
But I am personally needing, and praying for our community, to enjoy this month of God given rest and simplicity, to enjoy the gift of Sabbath. I trust that as we do, we can also look forward to the greater things that are yet to come God’s Spirit in the future. God is still going to be in the business of exceeding expectations when our activities resume a month from now.
#g2G - Pastor Gregg
"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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21