And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Philippians 1:6, AMP)
God is not finished with me yet.
(Insert the “Hallelujah” chorus!)
And He isn’t finished with you either.
Of course, in my case He is running out of time since I’m slightly (ahem) over the half-century mark, a fact that confronted me the other day as I was organizing some family photos taken when the kids were young. What should have brought great memories made me sad. Babies had turned into adults, some with grown babies of their own, but no one had changed as much as I had. What happened to the thick mane, the trim body, the sagless eyes, the single chin? It didn’t help when this week my fifteen-year-old grandson, Drake, told us his height and weight and Dave shared, “Those were Grandma’s measurements when we got married.”
Drake got a kick out of that.
So did Dave, if you know what I mean.
Now, as I creak out of bed in the morning, rely on an occasional Aleve to calm the joint pain caused from pickle ball, and have to wait for my knee’s permission to navigate the stairs, I still have it a whole lot better than it will be in a decade when I will have even less hair, more aches, sags and chins.
(Delete the “Hallelujah” chorus!)
I’ll be honest. It’s much easier appreciating what I used to be and not what God sees in me now. I see a flawed, finished work as opposed to a work in progress. In reality, I negate the beauty of the work God has done—and is doing—in my life. What a waste! Look at the scripture above. None of us will be flawless until “the day of Jesus Christ.” Perfected beauty is nonexistent until we see God face to face. Where we are today is where we need to be so He is able to continue His work.
No matter what a mess we are physically, mentally or emotionally. God continues to paint on our life’s canvas. Can you imagine someone having the gall to criticize Michelangelo’s partially-completed painting of the Sistine Chapel half-way through his four-year project? I’m betting that viewers, privileged to watch him at work on scaffolding 68 feet above ground, were in awe of his masterpiece and told him so, even though he, the master painter, probably yelled from above, “Just you wait!” Nevertheless, to the observer, the finished frescoes would have taken their breath away. In their eyes, how could it ever be more spectacular?
God sees us as Michelangelo saw his Sistine project. Our Creator can transform our complaining view of our earthly bodies if we stop fighting him for the paint brush and appreciate what strokes he is perfecting now as he continues to make us a reflection of His eternal glory.
We are, in reality, a work in progress.
And I don’t know about you, but that makes me smile.