Recently a dear friend of mine started on a project around her house. She had all the internal doors in the house replaced due to many having been worn and damaged. Once the new doors were installed, it was up to her to prime and paint each one.
She told me how it took 5 hours one day to prime only 4 of the doors. She told me that although she would have wanted to have the job finished rather quickly, she had come to accept that she could only continue on her flexi-days from work so this would make the project take a lot longer. A job that was expected to take only days is now going to span over weeks. Sound familiar? Israelites wandering in the desert? Joseph waiting for his dreams to be fulfilled?
Can’t we just see the ways of the Lord in this?
I’ve seen that often the Lord will put a burden or a dream or a vision in our heart. He starts off showing us a need that is there, (e.g. the damaged doors). Then He gives us a vision of that need having been met and transformation having taken place (e.g. a desire to see new, clean doors). He then equips us with the know-how and tools to start working on this project (e.g. knowing about priming and obtaining the necessary tools, primer material, brushes, paint).
I look at my life and realise that for me, often from this point, I want to hurry the job along because I prefer instant transformation and I haven’t always liked the personal effort involved in co-labouring with Him in His transforming me!
My family and I have been waiting for 2 years for a property settlement matter to conclude, following the death of my father. It has been an enormous lesson in waiting and trusting the Lord, and putting our hand to the plough with all that is required of us on our part while being powerless to determine the outcome. Waiting….waiting…waiting…..yet all the time the Lord has been transforming us in areas of finance, letting go of sentimentality and learning dependency on God alone. Priceless lessons.
How often the Lord MAKES us wait. If we fight Him, hopefully we will eventually come to the end of ourselves and give up. Then like my friend, we can learn to accept that it’s going to take time for the best result and there’s nothing we can do about that, in fact it is in our best interest that it takes the time it does take! The end result is better! That’s the process of transformation. Jesus is not only the author of our faith but the perfector of our faith! He is!
Seeing Jesus in the every day things really thrills me and I pray that our eyes are open to see more and more of Him this way. God can use anything, even painting doors and delaying property settlements to teach us something of Himself and to forge something of His character into us.
- Patience – He is patience!
- Humbling – He is humility!
- A quiet, gentle spirit – He is gentleness!
- Intimate time with Him – He wants this!
- Trust – He is trustworthiness!
- Being faithful to the task in His call against all opposition – He is faithfulness!
- Being able to give testimony to His faithfulness to us – He is faithfulness!
- Learning more about who Christ is, as we get to know Him along the way – He wants this!
- Learning to co-labour with him – We are in Christ and Christ is in us!
- Putting His agenda before ours – He is Wisdom!
- Concerning ourselves more with the getting to know Him than getting an ‘end result’ of our preference and in our time – He is selflessness!