Last week, Tricia and I had lunch with an older couple that we love very much. They have served in ministry for their entire lives. Before we left, they wanted to read and proclaim a passage of scripture over this next season of our life and ministry. They proceeded to read Colossians 1:9-12 as we hung on every word. Examine this:
Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven't stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you'll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.
We are considering adopting this as our family passage to guide us as we prepare for this next season. It is a truly a beautiful proclamation of our hope!