A work in progress

So where is this in Leiden? (I know at least one couple have the answer – keep quiet please!)

It is a “work in progress”, even as the summer weeks continue…

Here in the Merenwijk area of the city where we live, there is also building work going on – new roundabouts being put in at either end. One is done, the other will take until the end of September.

A work in progress…

Ever watched a potter working at his or her wheel or a glass blower in action? Perhaps you have stood and looked over the shoulder of someone painting outdoors somewhere. Or listened to some young people in the neighbourhood composing the latest song for their band : )

A work in progress…

Last week, I wrote about surrendering. That is a challenge in all kinds of areas since it requires humility but also the exercising of trust in God.

One such area of challenge is in terms of our lives and what is happening. Are we impatient and wanting to have ‘arrived’ (however we might define that?).

There can be all kinds of things that we can end up wanting done now if not yesterday! Such as wishing our course was finished, the job training completed, our application accepted or that person says yes. Or perhaps we have prayed something and it seems no answer is coming (though as an aside, it may not be in our interest or that of others for all our prayers to be answered as we would like!!!)

What if delays and things that seem like frustrations are part of of our journey of being a ‘work in progress’? Where is our trust? Is it only there when things are seemingly going well? What about when the way does not seem so clear? How do we respond then?

Do you see yourself as a work in progress? If not, what might help you get a new perspective? Who could you talk to about how life seems? Don’t struggle on in isolation.

Are there aspects of our lives that we need to surrender afresh and trust the Lord again?

A lot of questions I admit.

I want to encourage anyone reading those questions to not panic or despair but to have hope. In the Bible, we can read these words:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). Hope in the Bible is something definite not a maybe!

Earlier from the same letter we can read,

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who loved him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)

That is quite a statement to think about, amid the twists and turns of life (it is worth reading on through to the end of that chapter. God’s love is spoken of in the midst of all kinds of challenges we might face).

Work in progress?

May you find the encouragement or strength that you need at this time.

One last verse, taken from another New Testament letter,

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6)

God keeps to his promises. He is at work in our lives. Not manipulating us or treating us like chess pieces of course!

Part of the journey of surrendering is that we begin to become more Christ-like. Not that we lose our personalities in this – we are called to be more like Christ not called to be clones with no individuality.

Being a work in progress is not just about any of us singularly. It is also about community. The church(the body of Christ) is a work in progress together. One image the Bible uses is that of a bride preparing for marriage.

Whatever you are facing, you are not on your own. God has not forgotten you. Hopefully for many there is family and/or friends to be a support. Yet vitally also, there is the community of church – it is far more accurate and helpful to say “we are church” rather than “we go to church”.

Work in progress… let’s think on that!

Andy