Monday, February 21, 2011

Blown Away

This week, I'm bringing you a few thoughts on one of my favorite passages. This devotion is currently on my parent's church website and I'm shamelessly double posting in order to save a few brain cells as I prepare for the very soon arrival of our third child.

One of the first things you learn when you begin to study the craft of writing is that every word matters.

Every word.

There are no throw away words. Successful authors look at every word in their manuscript and if it isn’t important, it’s deleted. If it isn’t conveying the proper tone, it’s edited. If it’s weak, it’s strengthened.

In the end, the author is left with 85,000 (or so) important words. 85,000 words chosen with deliberate intent to convey the message the author desires to bring.

There are over 800,000 words in the Bible.
Written by 40 or so human authors.
Inspired by the one and only true God.

Even by non-believing human standards, God is a very successful author. His book remains the bestselling book of all time. It changes hearts and lives.

And there are no throw away words in the Bible. If the words are in there, they are important, chosen to convey the exact message God wanted us to hear.

Which brings us to Ephesians 3:19-20. These verses make me smile because at first glance, they appear to break a cardinal writing rule.

What rule?

Well, I didn’t know this until recently, but adverbs are frowned upon in writing circles. Because often they indicate laziness on the part of the writer.

But not always.

Sometimes, a good splash of adverbs is the only way to describe something. Sometimes, there are no verbs strong enough to convey the scope of a particular situation.

I think God knew we would struggle to grasp the expanse of His abilities.

So he painted a word picture.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us . . .

Exceeding—abundantly—above!

What happens in your mind and heart when you read those words?

The sheer extravagance of the description speaks to me of things beyond my grasp. Beyond anything I can imagine.

Sure, God could have inspired Paul to choose different words.

But He didn’t.

Because these are the exact words necessary to blow us away and straight to our knees as we finish the prayer with Paul.

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Reactions:

4 comments:

Alycia Morales said...

Thanks for sharing, Lynn! I love this thought! Just the right amount of words and just the right words...I hope I write exactly what God wants me to write!

Bruce Brady said...

Thanks Lynn. Isn't it wonderful how God always seems to break human rules and still manages to increase or initiate our faith in and loyalty to Him. May we all be blessed by His using us to write His words.

Marcia Chadwick Moston said...

Amen. And blessings on baby coming.

sheri said...

Thank you for an inspiring blog ! :))