The term “visible light” might seem redundant. After all, what kind of light is there besides “visible” light? But the light we see is only a small part of the greater electromagnetic spectrum. There are actually many frequencies of light our eyes cannot naturally perceive: infrared, ultraviolet, and many more. This is an important reminder that just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there!

In a similar way, this passage from Colossians 1 makes repeated mention of the unseen—things we can’t see and rulers and authorities that are unseen (Colossians 1:16). This is a phrase Paul also uses in Ephesians 6:12: “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” There’s so much that exists that we cannot perceive with our senses.

What Paul mentions not only points out the limits of our perception, but it can also expand our understanding of God’s sovereignty—His supreme power over all things. Jesus created all things, not just what is seen but what is unseen as well (Colossians 1:16). So, as magnificent as it is to imagine God’s control over visible creation like mountains and valleys and oceans, how much more so to realize His sovereignty is even greater still! (Colossians 1:18).

Like many aspects of God’s character, our conception of His sovereignty is oftentimes far too small. The fullness of creation is His and under His control, including both the little we see as well as that which we can’t see. And this amazing and powerful God loves us as His very own children (Colossians 1:12).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Ephesians 4:1-16