Some years after the tragic loss of their first spouses, Robbie and Sabrina fell in love, married, and combined their two families. They built a new home and named it Havilah (a Hebrew word meaning “writhing in pain” and “to bring forth”). It signifies the making of something beautiful through pain. The couple says they didn’t build the home to forget their past but “to bring life from the ashes, to celebrate hope.” For them, “it is a place of belonging, a place to celebrate life and where we all cling to the promise of a future.”
That’s a beautiful picture of our life in Jesus. He pulls our lives from the ashes and becomes for us a place of belonging. When we receive Him, He makes His home in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17). God adopts us into His family through Jesus so that we belong to Him (1:5–6). Although we’ll go through painful times, He can use even those to bring good purposes in our lives.
Daily we have opportunity to grow in our understanding of God as we enjoy His love and celebrate what He’s given us. In Him, there’s a fullness to life that we couldn’t have without Him (3:19). And we have the promise that this relationship will last forever. Jesus is our place of belonging, our reason to celebrate life, and our hope now and forever.
Because Paul led the Ephesian believers to faith (Acts 19:1–10), he considers them his spiritual children and is unwaveringly committed to pray fervently for their spiritual growth (see Philippians 1:3–6; 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12). Ephesians 3:14–21 is one of the few recorded prayers of Paul in the New Testament (see also Philippians 1:9–11; Colossians 1:9–12), and is the second of two prayers in Ephesians (also Ephesians 1:15–23). In these prayers, Paul doesn’t pray for their material well-being but focuses on their spiritual development and maturity.
In the first prayer, which emphasizes knowledge, Paul prays they’ll have “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” so that they may “know the hope to which [God] has called [them]” (1:17–18). In his second prayer (3:14–21), he focuses on love and prays that having been “rooted and established in love” they’ll “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (vv. 17–18).