Do you ever feel like you’re on a treadmill? or that you just keep going around and around making the same mistakes over and over again?
Do you ever start out with the best of intentions and then find yourself making the same poor choices you made the last time you were in a similar situation?
Sometimes, I feel like I will never learn. I know that I over commit and I know that I judge myself harshly and I know that chocolate is my kryptonite. So what do I do? I plan extra activities for our family, I compare myself to those around me who seem to have it all together, I crave chocolate – no matter that it is really not very good for diabetes.
When I was a teenager and being baptised, the minister introduced me as the freshest member of the congregation. Of course, he meant the newest. In my insecurity, that was not what I heard. I felt like he was calling me fresh. When will I learn that my failures are not the end of the world, that everyone else is not judging me like I judge myself? When will I understand that being weak means that there is opportunity for God to make me strong?
That same minister who introduced me, wrote a verse in the Bible the church gave me as a welcome gift. That verse has become one of my very favourite promises in Scripture.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
What a promise!!!! No matter how frail I am, (and always will be by the way) God started something with me and He will finish His work. Sometimes I stand in His way, like the problem I have with being patient (see my first blog). Sometimes, though, I let Him work in me and the outcome is always fantastic. Even if the project doesn’t turn out the way I may have expected it to, when I allow God to move in my life the result in spiritual growth far outweighs any earthly success I may or may not achieve.
When I consider who I was when I was unsaved and then move to who I was as a young Christian or young wife or young mother and then I reflect on who I am now and who I hope to be, I can see that God has never stopped the process of completing me.
Over Christmas, I built a dollhouse. Not one of those plastic Fisher-Price types, but an honest to goodness, old fashioned, wooden dollhouse. My dad and uncle built me a wooden dollhouse when I was a little girl and it is one of my most treasured possessions. When I saw this one at a local thrift shop – still in its original cellophane – I couldn’t resist. Before Christmas, I was too busy to do anything with it, but after Christmas, the box came out. I was able to complete construction over the holidays between Christmas and New Year’s. I could leave the dollhouse as it is and enjoy it and have a memory and sit it next to the one my dad and uncle built me and that would be OK. But you know what? The one my dad and uncle built, it’s painted and wall papered and furnished and I played with it so it looks lived in. Whenever I travel, I bring something special back to go in it. In fact, this old dollhouse is beyond complete, it is overflowing. The memories and pleasure that come from this ‘old’ toy far outshine the basic job of assembling the new dollhouse. In order for the value of the new dollhouse to increase, I need to invest in it. I need to sand and paint and decorate and fiddle with it and work on all the areas where it is not just the way it is supposed to be.
How could I possibly believe that I have any less value to the Lord than this simple dollhouse has to me? Every day, He is sanding off my rough edges and working on adorning me with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self control. God wants me to work with the spiritual gifts He has given me and He wants me to do my best to grow toward the person He has designed me to be.
Many of you probably have daughters. Most of us with little girls have called them ‘princess’ at one time or another (especially daddies). One of our girls has a t-shirt that reads, “I know that I’m a princess – My Father is the King of kings.” Which father doesn’t do his utmost to help his ‘princess’ to grow to be the very best she can possibly be? How could I believe the my Heavenly Father would ever neglect to help me grow to be the very best He has for me?
When I’m feeling discouraged and doubting if I’m making any progress at all, I just need to remember that God loves me just the way I am and too much to let me stay that way.