Living With the Windows Open (Devotion 1)

white sash window opened

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or complaining” Philippians 2:12-14a

When did you first leave your children home by themselves? Remember that first evening when you told your oldest to watch her siblings, making sure everyone behaved. Then you went for a walk, just the two of you, around the block. It was summer and the windows were all open. Walking up to the house after being gone ten minutes, what did you hope to hear?

You had left them with the dishes to do, one clearing, one washing, one drying. By now they should be finishing up. What would you like to hear? Happy talking, all three laughing, the sound of kitchen cabinets opening and closing and dishes gently being put inside. Wouldn’t that be great? As a parent, you would just stay there, a little hidden, and listen. They don’t know you’re there, listening to how well they’re doing.

I’m guessing this is every parent’s dream and I hope that it was an every-night event in your house. If you leave the children, they’ll act just like when you’re there. That’s Paul’s hope for the Philippians and for all Christians. He is at a distance from the Philippians and certainly at a distance from us. But wouldn’t this be a great check on our own lives. How would we be if Paul were himself with us? How would we get along with each other? What would we be thankful for? What chores would we volunteer to do? I expect that we would be lively, caring, and thankful people.

So, all the more we can hear these words and remember that Jesus is right here with us. He sees every action, hears every word, and knows every thought. He doesn’t hide in the edge of life but tells us that he will be with us to the end of the ages. What a change this might bring to our life together if we would say to ourselves, “Well, since He’s right here, then I won’t complain. In fact, it doesn’t seem so bad, given that I’m not alone.  After all, He’s right here.” That’s what He wants to hear and those are the children we want to be.

Our Heavenly Father, remind us that we’re not children abandoned to be on our own but we’re the children you also see. Help us to live without grumbling or complaining, but instead to be amazed that you are invisibly always here. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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