November 1, 2022
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or power or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16, NIV).
As I was dressing for work this morning, I was overcome with a sense of inadequacy. I looked at my last few weeks and tried to find a time when I had mentioned the name of Jesus, and I could not. I thought of missed visits to friends in nursing homes. I thought of my kids and their kids, for whom I had not taken time—and then my precious wife. I pictured how far behind I was at work. I felt myself a failure in the fruitfulness of my life. I drove to work with that sense of failure, not depressed by it, but saddened at the thought. As I turned south on the last curve of the highway encircling my city, the sun was rising. I saw its light reflecting against a bank of cumulus clouds south of town. I was overwhelmed with a deep sense of eternity, and my self-pity dissolved into the grandeur of God.
We all live with thoughts about ourselves, self-thoughts that are often shallow but sometimes very deep and important. Too often, I focus too much on temporary things like temporary success, temporary security, temporary relationships and even temporary Christian tasks—all intensely important and intensely heavy if I am the center of things. Sometimes I need to see the whole of things. Sometimes I need to experience the grandeur of God and a deep sense of the eternity for which I live.
We are by design humans, and by human failure we are imbedded with the nature of sin. Sin turns our thoughts inward, like an iPhone taking selfies, selfies that make us proud at times and sometimes ashamed. This repeated focus on our selves turns our eyes away from the magnificent truth of God. Only He is the center of things.
What can help us refocus? These steps have been helpful in my struggle.
- Thank my Lord every morning and every evening for the blessings He has provided—before I ask for anything.
- Each morning, read God’s Word.
- Each morning, ask God to place me on His mission for that day, rather than my own.
- Look for God’s presence in each encounter of the day, “Where are you in this, Lord?”
- Trust God to accomplish all that He chooses through our lives and continually accept His grace for our individual inadequacies.
- Step often into God’s nature and discover the created wonder of oceans, mountains and sunrises reflected in clouds.
Each of us as Christ followers should remain intensely thankful for all that God has done for us and focus on our individual response to His goodness. At the same time, we sometimes need to stand in awe and listen with Job as God speaks, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” (Job 38:4a, NIV).
Let me see your glory often enough to understand the truth of life.