“I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments.” Colossians 2:2-4
As we devote ourselves to prayer throughout this journey together, Paul encourages us to be watchful and thankful. To be watchful is to remain completely alert to danger and opportunities. Yet, we live in a modern culture addicted to distraction. To remain alert and aware of the opportunities around us would require many of us to intentionally put away our digital devices and lift our eyes to what surrounds us. What might we be missing? Do we notice the facial expressions of those who serve us a meal or help us check out at a store? Are we aware of the Holy Spirit’s prompting to speak a word of encouragement or care?
Today, we will ask God to open doors for sharing His love and for our awareness to step through that door into conversations of hope and blessing. I confess that I am often too caught up in my agenda that I miss the open doors around me. Yet, when I pause and live watchfully, I find I am invited into the great adventure of listening to the Spirit. It’s truly the most fun and fulfilling experience of life. Opportunities abound as we ask God to lead us and as we choose words of grace and truth for those we encounter.
Paul is writing this from prison, and he’s not complaining. He’s asking for courage and opportunities for the gospel to advance.
While not even close in comparison, one day I tore a ligament in my thumb playing basketball and had to see an orthopedic doctor. As I went into the office, I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to me that there was someone I needed to notice. As the nurse walked in I could tell that her eyes were downcast. I tried to cheer her up at first and engaged in friendly conversation to begin. After a while, I asked if there was anything I could pray for her about. She shared with me that she was really struggling with a challenging situation in her family and losing hope. I let her know that God sees her and cares for her family as well. We prayed together and her eyes lifted with hope as I talked about the grace of God and His love for her.
After the doctor came in and the appointment was coming to a close, I was struck by this thought and shared with her, “What if God loved you so much that He allowed me to tear the ligament in my thumb to share with you today?” We both paused at the thought and thanked God for the divine appointment and open door for His grace. Father, I ask you to develop a watchful and thankful heart in me today. What is distracting me from being fully aware and grateful?
Jesus, I ask you to give me courage to care for others as you’ve cared for me. What keeps me from speaking of your amazing love to those around me?
Pray with me: “Holy Spirit, I ask you to open doors for me to share the good news of forgiveness, connection with God, eternal hope and life that is truly life today. Who would you lead me to share with today? Amen.”
What names or opportunities come to mind?