Daily Devotional: Colossians 4:2
When I was first asked to write a daily devotional, I was struggling to come up with a topic to tackle. Many wonderful and encouraging topics have already been laid out in these daily devotionals, and if you're anything like me, I'm sure the many gospel coalition articles and Facebook videos you have ingested have felt like cough syrup: good for you, but not really what you want right now. We are being told how, despite the hardships and suffering we are experiencing, we are going to come out the other side of COVID-19 having grown as both individuals and as a church.
COVID-19 is allowing us to work on home projects, pick up new hobbies, and finally start that exercise plan. COVID-19 is revealing our sin, causing us to yearn for Biblical community, and challenging us to rely on God in ways we previously did not! These things are true and encouraging, but they just don’t always help my day-to-day. It’s hard to find encouragement in those things when we have spent the fifth day in sweatpants, and showers are a distant memory. I know this is growing and shaping me . . . but I just don’t want that right now! I long for warm summer nights outside with people, attending festivals in Riverfront Park, and browsing through farmers markets while listening to bad cover bands. There are so many wonderful and beautiful things to look forward to once life gets back to normal. That said, what I want to encourage us with today is that while we wait for the freedom of normal life and the joys of being in community again, let us take a step back . . . and enjoy life!
Enjoy life? Enjoy life! How can we enjoy life when a beautiful summer world is out there waiting for us? How can we enjoy life while we are cooped up in our homes dealing with angry spouses and misbehaving kids? Let me try to explain. I do not mean “enjoy life” in the purely hedonistic sense—I want to encourage us to enjoy life and reflect that enjoyment to the giver of life, to see the beauty in all the little things and adore the artist who has designed his world so marvelously, to be intentional to rest in and worship our great God. I want us to enjoy life and give thanks!
In Colossians 4:2, Paul encourages us to “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Being “watchful” is not a passive thing. Paul is encouraging us to look and seek for things to be thankful for! Imagine a watchman upon a castle wall. It is his job to search the horizon and look for whatever might be coming his way. It might be an invading army, a traveling circus, or a knight followed by a guy hitting coconut shells together. Regardless, the watchman is tasked with watching, and as soon as he sees something, he is tasked to yell aloud or blow his trumpet, letting the whole castle know what’s coming! This is the same way that Paul is telling us to pray. Be watchful for things to be thankful for. We must look for opportunities to give thanks, because ultimately, by enjoying the small gifts of life and giving thanks to God for them, he is glorified. When we see that God is the source of all good things and praise him for his many blessings, our relationship with him is at its best.
We are infinitely blessed by a creator God who has filled his creation with beauty and wonder and mystery! Even confined as we are in our small spaces, we are surrounded by all that we need to praise and give thanks to our creator! What will help us get through our waiting and restlessness is giving thanks to God for the little things.
C.S. Lewis spoke of this in his book Letters to Malcom which is centered around prayer. Speaking to an imaginary “Malcom” he says,
You first taught me the great principle, "Begin where you are." I had thought one had to start by summoning up what we believe about the goodness and greatness of God, by thinking about creation and redemption and "all the blessings of this life". You turned to the brook and once more splashed your burning face and hands in the little waterfall and said: "Why not begin with this?" And it worked. Apparently you have never guessed how much. That cushiony moss, that coldness and sound and dancing light were no doubt very minor blessings compared with "the means of grace and the hope of glory." But then they were manifest. So far as they were concerned, sight had replaced faith. They were not the hope of glory, they were an exposition of the glory itself. . . . I have tried, since that moment, to make every pleasure into a channel of adoration. . . . If I could always be what I aim at being, no pleasure would be too ordinary or too usual for such reception; from the first taste of the air when I look out of the window--one's whole cheek becomes a sort of palate--down to one's soft slippers at bed-time.
Brothers and Sisters of ITC, let’s start right where we are and enjoy life, giving thanks to our great God in everything! From the sunrise out our window every morning, to the warm blanket over us at night.