January 31, 2013

The Process of Growing

Since November, my sweet man has been tackling some renovation projects around our home. The changes have made a big impact but the details have been imperceptible to others, a testimony to my husband's hard work and precise hand. He has the talent of making things fit in as if they were always there, rather than calling attention to them. In my opinion, that's the mark of a true craftsman.

He has been able to make the process appear effortless, so I sometimes believe it is effortless. I've forgotten that these changes are not as simple as they look. I've become frustrated. I envision the end result and I desperately want to see it come to fruition so we can relax and enjoy it. It's taking longer than I'd hoped.

My family and I are in the midst of another process, a spiritual renovation of sorts. This renovation precipitated the Year of Growing.  It is the reason I chose the books I'm studying. We've set aside three months, but I'm slowly realizing that will be just the preparation. Work will follow, and will take much longer. As with any renovation project, it started with a demolition. The reconstruction is painful, yet it is necessary for our growth.  If this process looks effortless, it's only because the Holy Spirit has given us peace that we are moving in the right direction. We know  - and we trust - that even though these coming months may be difficult, they will be for our ultimate good.

The Apostle Paul writes,
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
~Romans 8:26-28, ESV

And John Newton echoes,
Oh, the peace which flows from believing that all the events in which we are concerned, are under His immediate disposal; that the very hairs of our head are all numbered; that He delights in our prosperity; that there is a need-be, if we are in heaviness; and that all things shall surely work together for our good!
Hallelujah and Amen.

The spiritual renovation will continue long after our home renovations are complete. And so I look again to Paul for words of inspiration, and to my Lord for grace.
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith — that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 3:7-14, ESV

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