After six weeks, the work of finishing my basement is complete. This was an endeavor that took almost twice as long as anticipated. As with any project, there were plenty of bumps in the road. Not being able to get the drywall down the stairs. Brand new purchases that were flawed. Items that needed to be returned. Higher than normal material costs. Other minor setbacks or inconveniences. But now, finally, we have a usable space for our kids to hang out or watch a movie as a family. Or perhaps I will add some locks to the door, turn it into a ‘man cave’ and allow my family down there by appointment only. 😉
Yet there is still work to be done. There are still places to touch up with paint. Sure, the heavy lifting and banging hammers is complete; the electric is wired and working plumbing installed. Walls have been painted and floors have been cleaned. But still, it is just an empty room. We still have to find furniture, accessorize and decorate. Such is the reality of owning a home. There is always a project. Something to be fixed or replaced. Something to be upgraded or refreshed. Something to be added or taken away. Landscaping to be done. No matter the size or the age of your house, it is always a work in progress.
Christians, we are always a work in progress. Our lives are constantly under construction. As followers of Christ, it should bring a great deal of comfort knowing that although we are not yet finished, our Creator and Architect is all-wise, all-powerful, has no lack of resources, and has good plans for us. His promise is to continue the work and to complete it on the day we see Him. In many of his epistle letters, the Apostle Paul reminds us that we are on a journey that has not yet reached its end. God has indeed started work on us, but the work is ongoing. The frustrating news is that we haven’t arrived at complete maturity. We still stumble and fall. We let ourselves and others and our God down. The much better news is that one day the journey will end, the progress will be finalized and perfected. Thus, we continue forward with great hope and eager anticipation. Think about it… after all the money is spent, the bills are paid, the hard work completed, and the mess is cleaned up—it is very gratifying to sit and enjoy the completed new room. So it is when we finally enter the eternal presence of God. Our hard work on this earth will be complete; we will have finished the race. The One who launched us on the journey and who accompanies us throughout the journey, will take us across the finishing line. Then we will sit in the heavenly room prepared and completed for us by our Savior. This will be a space that no finished basement or enviable mancave will be able to compete with. We’ll echo these words of the psalmist, “A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.” (Psalm 84:10, NLT) O how satisfying that will be!
One day, we will be the glorified people God made us to be, and we will be those people forever. No more work in progress, just completed work, well and truly done. Indeed in the meantime, there are things going on that have to happen in order for God to build His master plan in us. Just like building a house or finishing a basement, there can be delays. Things don’t always go according to the plan, the way we think it should either. Being under construction can be difficult and trying at times. It takes patience and perseverance. The great news is that God is still working in you and in me. He still has a plan for our lives and He’s working it out. … And He’s not just building our lives as individuals either. We are being built together as one. Ephesians 2:22 says, “In union with [Jesus] you too are being built together with all the others into a place where God lives through his Spirit.” (GNT) We are each a part of the same construction project. God is crafting us and building us into His church. We are His representation of love and good news to the people and communities around us. This doesn’t mean we are completely perfect or finished. But we are the tangible, intentionally crafted boots-on-the-ground that God has put in this place to do good works and share the message of Jesus. As we’ve been learning on Sunday mornings, God is regularly using imperfect people in imperfect situations to get His will done. Knowing that, we need to give each other some grace. We’re all under construction and we’re all being built together. Your life may be farther along in the process than someone else’s. Be a person who helps them through the processes you’ve been through. Look for ways to edify others instead of slowing their progress. We’re all a work on progress. Let’s give God and others patience and mercy… because we need it too.
“If you’re still drawing breath, God’s not done with you yet. Don’t quit. Be brave and believe God is for you.” (Beth Moore)