He is the image of the invisible God;
the firstborn of all creation.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth
visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities-
all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
This morning, when I read this passage, my heart was drawn to the last part of verse 17...in him all things hold together. I shared what the Lord showed me on my Facebook page and mulled it over as I prepared breakfast. In HIM all things hold together, including me.
When the time came to begin our school day we settled into the comfort of our family room, little hands busy and blankets draped around chilly shoulders. I read this passage aloud, intending to focus on that point, that Jesus holds us together, but my second time through was different. There is something about reading aloud that brings to light parts of a story that might have otherwise been skimmed over or overlooked completely.
"All things were created through him and for him," I read. "Guys, what does 'all things' mean?"
"Us?" said my 9 year old.
"Yes! Us! YOU were created through Jesus, FOR JESUS!
Not for fun or happiness, not for doing your own thing your way. You were created FOR HIM. That means that there is something He made YOU, specifically, to do. "
Eyes were on me, sort of understanding but not really seeing why this is earth-shattering news. They are, after all, in Sunday school each week. They've heard this.
"Think about it. If you wanted to be a doctor you would go to medical school, right? Would you go to medical school to be a gymnast? Of course not! It would be a huge waste of time and money! Doctors spend years training to do their job, and no one would go to all that trouble and then do something completely unrelated. When they finish their training they look for jobs that will allow them to use their skills.
That is how we are. We were created with a purpose. If we look at decisions, like what classes to take or who to choose as friends, through the lens of WHY we were created then it will make our decisions so much easier.
You can look at the choice ahead of you and ask yourself if this lines up with the purpose for which you were created."
If only I had known that when I was young. What heartache and confusion I might have been spared! But what joy I have now to have the opportunity to instill this truth into my children...that they were made BY JESUS, FOR JESUS. Oh, how I pray they get this. I pray this truth penetrates their hearts and gives them a burning desire to seek their God-given destiny and settle for nothing less than God's perfect path for their lives. Whether they end up as plumbers or professors, missionaries or mamas, I pray they realize why they are here. Whether God's call brings adventure and intrigue or load-upon-load of laundry I hope they do it all as unto Him and find deep satisfaction in walking out His purpose for them in such a time as this.
Yes, Lord, that is my prayer. For them...and for me.
Especially when I backtrack just a few verses, to the context from which this truth emerges:
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you,
asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will
in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,
fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work
and increasing in the knowledge of God.
May you be strengthened with all power,
according to his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience with joy,
giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
And it all boils down to this:
May we...His Bride, His beloved...walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him because we are keenly aware in the deepest parts of our hearts of why we are here. May we be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light! This, my friends, this inheritance...we can look at it as a spiritual doctorate. We are qualified...so let's seek "employment" that fully uses the skills and gifts that God has given us! We are here to bring hope and light to an ever-darkening world. We are here for Jesus. Period.