everyone’s doing life better, prettier, happier than you.
Even the encouragers are discouragers, selling just enough hope to tease the inadequate.
False teachers were doing the same thing to the people in Colossae, an insignificant church in a less significant place: Are you sure Christ is enough? Life is short; don’t you want to try this too?
At least part of what they sold was truth: in a few years down the road, an earthquake will destroy this town, perhaps along with many of the people who first read this letter from the Apostle Paul. The ruins of the city haven’t been excavated to this very day, though historians know exactly where they are.
Life passed the Colossians by.
We feel them, we are them. Their testimony whispers through the news stories of disaster and disease and loss, and we feel our ethereal hold on the world — our lives — our children. Fear is only a window into the weakness of our grasp — the limits of the time we have to get it all right. Our souls push back against being ordinary.
And so, Paul gives us the only lasting formula for extraordinary we have:
When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:4
1. When Christ who is your life… We must define our lives in terms of Christ and not ourselves.
I was created to reveal how great He is.
I was rescued to show how good He is.
I was given gifts to show how generous He is.
I will be appear with Him to show how glorious He is.
Every part of my life, every thing that I do, every reason I was made is to cry out the greatness and goodness of God and the grace I have through His Son.
This is not hard — for at my very core, it is what I am made for. It is me without all the schemes and self and fears and anxious plans. I have twisted things so that I believe my life was meant to display me, not Him. I have placed my own ideals, milestones, and expectations of others over my true identity; I have made my own life hard.
It is not I, but Christ in me. (Galatians 2:20)
2. …then you also will appear with him in glory. When we define our lives in terms of Christ and not ourselves, extraordinary is our guarantee.
I am not afraid of an ordinary life because I was made to reveal the extraordinary God. I was chosen by God before the foundation of the world to the praise of His glorious grace (Ephesians 1:3-6). He has saved me to make known the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy (Romans 9:23).
God’s glory, by His design, is wrapped up in my rescue — my victory is tied tightly to His. He will not fail to show Himself powerful and worthy and true; therefore I will not fail to win in the end.
It is ok to be ok with all my quiet, unremarkable, uninspiring moments now — patient and faithful and true as I listen for the sound of His coming. My very life — at its core — if I do nothing else — was made to reveal the extraordinary splendor of God.
I am on my way to the center stage of the universe with the King, where His glory lights the city both day and night, and there countless days of ordinary no more.