There are tons of people you wish you could be with, but either space or time limits you. These are the kinds of people that if you saw them, it would be like you were never apart. There is such a kindred spirit that you feel as if you were family. God blesses us with people like this for a season, and then they are gone. It is said to be a part, but you know they are with you in spirit. That is how Paul felt about the Colossians, even though he had never met them.
“For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.”
Rejoiced from Afar
Paul wanted to be with the Colossians, but his schedule wouldn’t allow it. He was too busy dealing with the drama of the Corinthians and the legalism of the Galatians. That’s what happens when you are the leader of the Gentile churches. You deal with the problems and pray for those thriving like the Colossians and Philippians. He had to be satisfied being with them in spirit as the work in their areas continued. He rejoiced at their discipline and stability afar when he received reports.
This passage shows the power of prayer. Paul knew the best thing he could do for the Colossians was to lift them to God and intercede when attacks tried to tear at the fabric of their unity. If distance prevents you from being with someone you love, take a cue from Paul. Lift them and ask for blessings to fill their day. Technology allows us to keep tabs on what is happening, making an excellent prayer list. Take note of what they’re posting and add it to your list.
With You in Spirit
Distance can be difficult. If your spouse is deployed and serving in a foreign country, it might be a year before you see them in person. They know you are with them in spirit, and you feel the same way. Cover them in prayer and trust that God has them in His hands. This is true for any friend or family member not with you. One day you will be reunited. If not here on earth, then it will happen in heaven. Stand firm in your faith and wait for God’s timing.