Trusting the Process
Fact: The Lord is working to transform me (and you) into who He created me (and you) to be. Regardless of how we may feel minute-by-minute, this is a fact…because…well, the Bible says so:
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.” -1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
He says He’s refining me, so at the end of the day, I trust that, regardless of how I feel.
Sometimes it’s fairly easy to trust this…especially when you see evidence of this in your life. Like when someone says something completely ridiculous, and your flesh totally wants to call them out; but you respond in love rather than saying something snarky back. That’s evidence of His grace working in your life. And when you believe the best in someone, even when it’s easier to believe the worst. More refining.
And then there are those days that you see your “old self” creep back in…those days where, frankly, you feel like you’re back at square one. Those days that you can’t quite pull yourself together…when the anxiety creeps back in and you have a hard time catching your breath…and when you just feel like you’ll never quite be where you should be.
I’ve struggled fairly significantly with this lately…feeling like I’m slipping in certain areas, seeing insecurities attempt to take root back in my heart.
And then I’m reminded of this verse:
And we all…beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. -2 Corinthians 3:18
…one degree of glory to the next…
Such a beautiful verse. The way that Paul wrote this makes the process of becoming more like our Maker seem almost poetic…the Lord changing a heart little by little, making us to be like Him.
I can read this and be inspired and hopeful…and then a day like today happens. A day that you wish you could just rewind and start over. The day that seems to never end, and the harder you try the more frustrated you get.
These desert days seem to be a breeding ground for my insecurities, reminding me of how far away I am from where I desire to be. The enemy sees this and knows this, and I feel him trying to take advantage of these weak moments. But he won’t win…
Paul (the same guy who wrote about being transformed one degree at a time) shared in these struggles. In Romans 7 he talks about the struggle of this “process”…about how he knows what he should do, yet he doesn’t quite have the ability to carry it out. How great a comfort is this to know that Paul, who is such a hero of faith, struggled with the exact same thing?
I think he hit the nail on the head when he says that “nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” (Romans 7:18) This is true…there’s nothing good inside of me. The only good that comes out of anything I say or do is from Christ, and Christ alone.
Sometimes I forget that…and I try to will myself to be better. It’s so easy to become obsessed with my own righteousness (or lack thereof). In these moments of “navel-gazing,” I freak out, feeling as if I should be running in my faith by now, not merely learning how to walk, and certainly not stumbling, falling flat on my face. I should be more than what I am…and how in the world can I expect to bring people closer to the Lord if I can’t even figure it out?
But then Jesus…
He speaks to me at just the right time, whether it be through His word, or through a song, or a sweet text from a friend, reminding me that the Christian life is “process”…
He’s teaching me that “process” is not a four-letter word. It’s beautiful, and shouldn’t be rushed, regardless of how painful and frustrating it might be sometimes.
Because here’s the thing…when I desire to be further along than I am…that’s just pride. I become focused myself and on the end result and what it takes to get there, rather than focusing on the One who is taking me on this journey. And it makes me wonder…do I want HIM, or just the things He promises?
(Oh Lord, change my heart to make me want you more, rather than just your blessings…)
I so desperately want to please Him. In Hebrews, it says that “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Faith in what? For me, right now, it’s faith in the process. Faith that He will, indeed, complete what He’s started in me. That the changing of my heart one tiny degree at a time will happen, and it is His Spirit that does this…not my own.
So I guess for now, I just continue to try to “position myself under the waterfall of His grace,” and watch what He’s going to do. And I trust with everything inside of me that God is able to do what He has promised (Romans 4:21). That’s where my heart is gross, His grace abounds all the more (Romans 5:20).
And tomorrow, when I freak out again and try to pick back up what I’ve laid at His feet, I trust that He’ll give me the grace to let it go again…and again…and again…
…He is faithful…and He will surely do it…
We’ll let this video explain the rest…
Melissa Kauk, from Dallas, TX joined us in January 2016 for her Discipleship Training School. As a physiotherapist she wanted to use her education to make the most of her time here and give back as much as she could. With a lot of faith she boarded her flight, but still so unsure how her profession as a physio could impact a nation. She joined our Medical Ship DTS and spent part of her outreach aboard our Medical Ship in Papua New Guinea.