3 Snapshots of What Exceeding Abundantly Above Actually Means


Snapshot 1

When I was in second grade, I read a children’s biography of Benjamin Franklin, and in the depths of my heart, I knew what I wanted to be—a printer.

It must have been a picture in the book of Ben Franklin’s printing days, because somewhere I got a firm mental picture of my future. In my picture, which I can still see in a clear black and white drawing (yes, it must have been a picture in the book), I was settled back in a comfy chair with my feet propped up on a workbench. To my left was a printing press rolling out new pages, and in my hands were the first pages of the freshly printed manuscript.

What a life! Relaxing, printing, and getting paid to read. A little girl’s dream.

Snapshot 2

Fast forward several years—twelve years ago this weekend to be exact. I’m driving three boxes with five hundred copies of a brand new magazine for its first distribution.

The past six weeks have been taxing to say the least. But the grand moment is almost here. In a matter of hours, these magazines will be distributed to readers who will become immediate subscribers (of course!).

But suddenly, a new thought crosses my mind. It came with such clarity that I have a firm mental picture of the moment. I remember the steering wheel, the feel of my hands on it, the road, the color of the vehicle I was driving. And I especially remember the thought: How will this magazine be received?

I knew I had poured my entire savings account as well as my blood, sweat, and tears (especially tears) into this first issue. But I suddenly realized that I didn’t know if others would find it as valuable as I did.

Suddenly, this writer’s dream wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Snapshot 3

Fast forward twelve years—to this afternoon to be exact. I’m reviewing the details for the launch of a new book—a book in which I had the privilege of providing writing and editing assistance. A book I’m very excited to see released and am praying God will bless greatly.

Suddenly, a familiar thought crosses my mind: How will it be received? It came out of nowhere and didn’t really grip me the way it used to—the way it did…wait, that was twelve years ago today?!

Twelve years ago? Wow. Thinking back twelve years, I never would have guessed what God would be letting me do now. I wouldn’t in a million years have dreamed that twelve years later I’d live on the West Coast and serve as a writer and editor for a worldwide publications ministry that is touching lives I’ll never meet. Crazy.

Time to take another mental picture.

So, here I am. I’m sitting in an office with an open book manuscript in front of me—a book I’m being paid to review and edit. On the computer screen in front of me is the release plan for a book that is at press now. My feet aren’t exactly propped up on a workbench, but in about every other way, I’m living my childhood dream.

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, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.—Ephesians 3:20–21

Yes, unto Him be glory.

A Composite

Today provided one of the looking back moments when I’m so thankful for God’s leading, equipping, and opening doors.

Tomorrow may be one of the in between moments of blood, sweat, and tears (especially tears!).

But regardless, God does do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. So…

  • Dream big. Even if it is as far-fetched as relaxing by a rolling printing press while you get paid to do what you love.
  • Dream surrendered. Even if your “dream” loses some of its luster as you walk by faith.
  • Dream expectant. God will occasionally pull back the curtain and give you a glimpse into something far bigger than either you or your dream.

The composite of my snapshots? Of your dreams? God has a will for your life—and it is more wonderful than you could have guessed. Follow His leading, walk by faith, and look forward to a picture better than your original black and white copy.