“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the
rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye
are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Colossians 2:8-10)
Complete in Him. So many in our world today struggle with feelings of incompleteness. Some time ago,
in another devotion, mention was made of a freeway bridge in Seattle which, for many years hung suspended
over a complicated freeway interchange unfinished, incomplete. But I suppose one of the saddest and most
poignant scenes of unfulfillment and emptiness is portrayed in photos of a children’s playground in Chernobyl,
Ukraine, in the Soviet Union. Completely abandoned after the tragic nuclear power plant meltdown, the merry-
go-round no longer has children riding, no music playing; the Ferris wheel does not go round and round, with
young lovers sitting close together and holding hands. Children’s toys lying about, abandoned, unused,
decaying in tragedy.
Finally, may I present a picture that is even more incomplete? It is the picture of a soul without a Savior.
Augustine said that man’s soul was made for God and could find no rest without Him. Tragically incomplete is
the picture of a soul made for God yet without Him. The father or mother, without God, fumbles with the high
responsibility of parenthood. The son or daughter, without God, plots his or her own shipwreck.
We need God in business. If we cannot carry the spirit of Christ into every avenue of our business, we
had better quit the business. In the myth of King Midas, it is said he was granted one wish. That wish was that
everything he touched might turn to gold. The wish was granted, and as he gleefully touched the articles before
him, they immediately became glittering gold. Delighted, he sat down to his noon-day meal―the richest man
on earth. But as he stretched forth his hands and touched the food before him, it, too, became gold. Surrounded
by riches, he died in the agony of starvation.
We need God in our social life and in our homes. The presence of His spirit completes the circle around
the family fireside. No other institution can be an effective substitute for a Christian home. Amid these difficult days,
when orderly home life is being seriously challenged, the spirit of Christ ought to be the “unseen guest at every meal.”
A young artist was seeking to capture the beauty of nature and place it on his canvas. It was a wonderful
scene in God’s own gallery of art. There was a silver stream running through a verdant carpet of grass, stately
pines on the hillside, and a mountain in the background with its white snow cap. Across the horizon floated
billowy clouds trimmed in gold. But, try as he might, the young artist could not make the picture on his canvas
live. Discouraged, he dropped his brush and went away. Then came the master artist, who had sought to teach
the student the fundamentals of pigmentation and perspective. With a touch of the brush here, he made the
stream laugh and sing as it went to the river below; with a touch there, he made the pines whisper in the winds;
with another touch of the brush, he made the snow drift across the mountain-top. He finished the picture, made
it live, dropped the brush, and slipped away.
The young artist returned; his head still bowed in discouragement. But when he lifted his eyes to the
picture and saw the amazing transformation, he said, “The master must have been here! No one could have
made the picture complete but the master!” My friend, none can make the picture of your life, or your world,
complete but the Master!