You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:11-15 NIV)
Paul concludes his thoughts on giving with the well-known expression, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” What makes God’s gift to us indescribable? We can look to the gospels to find the descriptions of Jesus life including his death, burial, and resurrection. These things can be described. We cannot describe the depth of our sin and separation from God because we have no words to express the holiness of God. We cannot describe the blessing of eternal life because we cannot begin to imagine what even one moment in the presence of God will be like. We are so time bound that the concept of eternity is beyond our understanding. Everything about our relationship with God has an infinite nature to it. Many have tried to describe various attributes of God, but ultimately, we must acknowledge failure.
That does not mean that we should stop trying. Consider some of the words of this hymn:
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Frederick Martin Lehman – The Love of God is Greater Far
The story of the hymn is told in the movie “Indescribable.” It is available to stream on multiple platforms including YouTube. We purchased the movie on DVD several years ago and enjoyed it.
All of Paul’s encouragement to give and instructions on how to give are good but become insignificant when we are reminded of our motive for giving. We are incapable of describing what we have been given and that should continually motivate us to generously give to others.