Words To Live By
Do you ever think about the fact that very few of us live in the here and now?
Some people live in the past and pine away for the good old days.
Some people live in the future, waiting for the next adventure that is right around the corner.
Very few people live intentionally in the present.
We say we do.
We try to act as if we do.
However, while our bodies are here, our minds are elsewhere.
Our minds are parked in another time that we think is somehow better than the one we are in.
If ever that statement proved true, it is in parenting.
Mothers tend to think about the next stage.
They think about when their children will crawl, and stand, and finally walk.
They think about when their children can feed themselves or hold their own bottle or cup.
They think about when their children are out of diapers.
They think about when that training is complete and diapers are no longer purchased.
They think about the next stage.
Often, thinking about that next stage clouds the stage the child is currently in.
Social media does not help.
The child of so-and-so is at this stage and my child is only here, they think to themselves.
Doubt, frustration, and annoyance plague their hearts.
They look at the child they love and wonder when all those stages will be mastered.
They forget that they are a work in progress, too.
They are going through stages as well, though their stages are not quite as obvious.
They have new things that must be mastered.
They experience a learning curve.
There is frustration when they feel stuck in one particular area of their life.
Contentment is a treasure.
Contentment allows us to be at peace in the stage we are in.
We are not always looking over our shoulder.
We are not always looking around to see what everyone else is doing.
It means being a dinosaur and stepping back from the social media quicksand.
It means limiting time spent looking around at others.
It means being intentional about looking at what is directly in front of you.
Often, what is directly in front of us are those we love the most.
We forget that the little one we want to hurry has only been on this earth for a short time.
The little one we want to see crawl, will be out of our laps soon enough.
The little one who cuddles and falls asleep in our arms will be running circles in no time.
The child who loves to be with mommy will soon venture far from her.
Contentment in the here and now.
Acceptance of the pace at which we arrive at the next stage.
Realizing that every one of us is a work in progress.
When I was training my children, I admit I was guilty of some of this.
So and so was out of diapers.
We were not even close to mastering that skill.
I got wise advice from an older woman whose children were already raised.
Breathe. Enjoy them. They will get there.
They will get there in their own time.
They will get there when God determines.
No amount of coaxing or annoyance on our part will get them there any faster.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:2-6)
God began a good work in us.
God, the Holy Spirit, continually teaches, refines, and sanctifies us.
God will bring His good work to completion.
God will continue that work until He calls us Home.
Ruth Bell Graham, the wife of evangelist Billy Graham, understood this truth.
According to her husband, it was a road sign that summed it up perfectly.
The words on that road sign were words that Ruth wanted on her own gravestone.
When Ruth died in 2007, those exact words were placed there, just as she wanted.
I saw a sign on a strip of roadway once that I would like to have copied on my gravestone. It said, End of Construction. Thank you for your patience. (Ruth Bell Graham)
Ruth understood God’s Word.
Ruth understood God’s activity in her life.
Ruth understood that she was a work in progress.
Ruth understood that the work would be completed in the day of Christ Jesus.
We are not done yet.
God is still working on us.
We are being refined.
We are being made into the image of Jesus a little more each day.
The words on Ruth Bell Graham’s gravestone should be our words as well.
If we remember them, we will have patience with everyone who is a work in progress, too.
None of us have arrived.
That arrival, if we are in Christ, will be in heaven one day with our Lord Jesus.
Only then, will the work be done.
It is God’s work, not ours.
God will complete it.
End of Construction. Thank you for your patience.