So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)…
This may be the most often asked question in our world. As a young parent, I was amazed at the relentless way my sons could ask the why question:
- Why do we wake up in the morning?
- Why is the sky blue?
- Why is grass green?
- Why do I have to make my bed?
- Why don’t you want me to ask more questions?
I told my oldest son one day, “Brock, you cannot ask anymore ‘why’ questions today.” His response was, “How come, dad?”
As adults, the questions are, to be sure, a little more serious and the most common one I have encountered is, “Why is life so difficult?” It presents itself in lots of different forms but it is basically the same question. Have you ever asked any of these:
- Why does this always happen to me?
- Why is my life more difficult than other people I know?
- Why does one problem begin about the time another problem winds up?
- Why are things so difficult when I work so hard?
- Why Covid_19?
- Why doesn’t God rescue me (and my loved ones) from these crazy circumstances?
These questions all make sense so, of course, we ask them. In our hearts, we have a sense that life is supposed to be easier and simpler. The reality is, however, that our world was marred by the fall and mankind has been in a state of adjustment ever since. The good news, though, is God is at work in our hearts through all of the circumstances we wish would change.
Paul makes reference to this in Colossians 1:21-29. As I thought through this passage, it occurred to me that God views our lives similar to the way we view our houses. We love living in our homes but it takes a lot of work to remain comfortable there. They need to be cleaned, maintained and repaired. In some cases, they even need to be renovated.
One of the most remarkable results of the gospel is that we become the place where God dwells. “God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (v. 27) When God first encountered each of us, however, our hearts were uninhabitable. Like me, “you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you.” (v. 22-23) The word “reconciled” literally means “from another” and means we have been changed from one state to another. Since you trusted Christ as your Savior, He has been busy at work making your heart a place where He is comfortable. He is cleaning up areas that need cleaned; organizing areas that are in disarray; repairing areas that are broken and decorating your life with habits, attitudes and skills that make you a stunning place to dwell. As uncomfortable as it is, one of the techniques He uses is tough situations. Hard times uncover the areas of our lives He would like to work on so He enters our human struggles and goes to work on us.
One of the more interesting thoughts in this passage occurs in verse 29 where Paul says he “contends.” This word has the idea of an aggressive comma and it is actually the Greek word from which we get our English word, comma. Just as a comma interrupts a sentence and introduces a new thought, God utilizes painful interruptions in our lives to introduce improvements He would like to make. He doesn’t create or impose the difficulties; He just makes sure they are not wasted in helping us become better versions of ourselves.
Paul captures the heart of God when he reveals his motivation, “so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” (v. 28) The word “present” means to “stand alongside.” It is the same attitude you have when you say to a friend, “let me show you my house.” It captures the satisfaction you feel with the improvements you have made that make your house a more comfortable place for you and your loved ones.
So, as we are all facing interruptions in our lives that interfere with our well-being, let’s remind ourselves that God is going to be at work to make our hearts a better place for Him to live.
Speaking of becoming better, each week on the Bill and Pam Farrel Facebook page, at 6:06 pm PT, we offer a short #MarriageMonday Date Night with a Facebook Live video and a “dinner and dialogue” idea to build and bless your love.
Also, each Wednesday at 6:06 pm PT, we invite you to join us for a #WisdomWednesday Zoom Living Love-Wise Meet Up. This is an INTERACTIVE evening that includes worship, a guest expert then a Bible devotional and discussion lead by Bill and Pam. We want to converse WITH you. It is free, just be sure to register to save your space.