Above All We Ask or Think

by Bill Bright

When Carol and her two children left on their long trip to California, some friends from her church gave her a cooler filled with lunches to take along. She did not have time to look into the box until they stopped at a picnic area to eat.

To her amazement, she found a pretty red-and-white, checkered disposable tablecloth, plastic spoons and forks, and her children's favorite fruit drinks. In addition, the box contained caramel rolls and juice for breakfast, bite-sized candy bars for snacks, and even a sharp knife to slice the salami.

The children squealed over travel games and paperback books also found in the box. Then they dug to the bottom of the cooler to find other treasures nestled in it for them. Last of all, Carol found a note written to encourage her as she drove.

A sense of warmth flooded over her. The faces of those lovely women came into her mind as she thanked God for them before she and the children ate.

This was nothing less than the love of God being manifested to Carol through her friends. The thoughtfulness of others is just one of the many ways that God shows His love to us.

The story is told of a modern prodigal son who had quarreled with his parents and had left home in anger. After leading a life of partying, illicit sex, and drugs, he finally boarded a train for home.

As the train neared his home, the young man related to the passenger next to him that he had written a letter to his parents, asking their forgiveness and begging them to take him back. If they wanted him to return, they were to tie a white rag to the old elm tree in the front yard.

"I can't look," he said to his seat partner. "You look for me. I'm afraid there will be no rags on the tree."

As they rounded the bend, his neighbor peered out the window and exclaimed, "Look! There's not just one rag; there are hundreds! Every branch is covered!"

This is a wonderful illustration of God's inexhaustible, unconditional love. Both the above cases remind me of Romans 8:38: "I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love" (NLT); and also Ephesians 3:20, expressed in the classic words of the King James Version: "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…."

That exceeding, abundant love and power were working through Carol's friends and the young man's parents.

Copyright 2002, Bill Bright.

The late Dr. Bright was founder and chairman

of Campus Crusade for Christ.

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