James Bryan Smith, author of the Apprentice Series (The Good and Beautiful books) has just released another glorious book, Hidden in Christ, Living as God’s Beloved. It is a de- votional based on Colossians 3: 1-17, a passage Apprentices are encouraged to memorize.
Jim has the gift of using ordinary experiences to enlighten extraordinary scripture pass- ages. In this book, he scores writing “home runs” in every chapter. Here’s a personal an- ecdote he tells to illuminate Col. 3:4 (“When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.”)
“I am an avid sports fan. I often record the games of my fav- orite teams so I can watch them later. . . In order to avoid learning the outcome before I watch the game I have to steer clear of television sets that might show the score. I also have to tell people who might know the outcome not to tell me, or even hint to me, how the game ends. . . .One time, my favorite base- ball team was playing in a big playoff game, and I learned the final score before I actually watched it (my team won!) I still watched the game and at times found myself actually nervous (old habits die hard), but kept reminding myself, “Remember, we win. You know how this ends, Jim, so don’t get discouraged.” (Hidden in Christ, p.55)
When life rains on all our parades, when BBC radio scans the globe and finds only violence and conflict, when, like a precious piece of crystal, our relationships seem to slip through our fingers and shatter on the floor, when our messy lives result in equally messy consequences, we can remind ourselves of this stunning truth: “I know how this ends! God wins! I can choose Hope, not discouragement.”
As James Bryan Smith says, “. . .we must remind ourselves each day that we win. . . .There is nothing we face today – illness, loss, divorce, death – that will not be overcome in the final victory of Jesus. . . . He won, and because we are in him, we win. For sure”(p.58).
As my friend Bill always says, “Cheers to God!”