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  • Writer's pictureC. Kershaw

Patience and Process

I love to redecorate–to create new beauty gives me much joy.  So when my schedule recently opened up a bit, my creative juices began flowing, and so did the white paint.  It was time to tackle the sunroom.  When I took down some of the paintings and fixtures in my sunroom, some of the shading looked just a bit off.  There is nothing like a thick coat of pearly white paint to make all things look new.

The evening I finished painting, I sat on the couch and surveyed my work. Because clean, scuffless walls are not the norm in my house, I relished the view.  It was a wonderfully stormy night outside, but inside, I slept well.  Satisfied by a job well done, I slumbered peacefully. 

The next morning when I began to put things back in place, I noticed them.  Five thick, dark, grayish streaks ran down my once pristine wall.  The suspicious shading was obviously more than that–my roof had leaked all night.  This redecorating process would prove much more complicated than slapping on a couple gallons of paint.  It would also require a new sunroom roof.

The reality of my sunroom reminds me of the reality of life–it’s a process.  Everything seems to be a process, from redecorating a room to overcoming a stronghold.  Nothing good comes easy.  You might think you’re operating with a new clean slate, but watch out.  Nasty gray leak streaks just might appear.

Our flesh hates processes, but our Savior calls us to them.  As we love our neighbors, relationships build.  As we pray for our enemies, our hearts begin softening toward them.  As we uncover, confess, and turn from strongholds of struggle and sin, we begin growing away from them. As we lean into our identity in Christ, we begin to look more like Him.  Each of these processes can be frustrating, overwhelming, and messy.  Lasting change is not easy or quick.  Plodding is the word that best describes what process means to me.

A study of Job recently reminded me of a key step in the growth process.  In Job 19:25-27, 

Job says, “I know my redeemer lives.”  By this chapter in the Job narrative, he’s lost his family, his fortune, and, due to the ridiculous nonstop wrangling of three vocal friends, some of the honor of his character.  Clearly, he’s struggling to move on.  How can he? Job's internal faith has to lead.  In fact, it has to lead his external dialogue. Job uses words of truth to motivate himself out of the painful process he’s stuck in. He sums up his situation while speaking the truth.  In essence he says, I don’t know how I got here, I don’t know why this is happening, and I don’t know how this is going to end. All I do know is that my Lord lives.  My hope lies in that fact.  My dynamic, loving, faithful Savior is alive, and he’s in charge of this process.

When I lose patience with the twists and turns of tedious process work, I have to speak truth to my frustrated self.  God is always working and always good, and through his power he does “above and beyond” what I can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).  I also have to remind myself I have what I need to weather any stormy process through what I’ve been given.  The imputed righteousness of Christ is mine, and it is enough.  It’s time to get out the roller, repaint the wall, and trust God with the process.


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