by Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal
Last summer I had the genius idea of tackling a large home improvement project. I determined it was time to paint my living room, dining room, kitchen, hallway, stairways, and the front entry. Still under some grand delusion I added all of the trim, moulding, doors, and paneling to the list. I confidently mapped out the project, providing myself with a generous timeline, researched the perfect color, and invested in the proper equipment.
The first few days were lovely and productive. The kids were out of town, my husband was at work, and I was blissfully streaming a rotation of worship music, podcasts, and sermons at full blast. However, at the conclusion of day seven I was running out of time, paint and patience. My prayer for Jesus to multiply my trim paint so I could get that last door finished was not part of His agenda. The cat and I were both covered from hair to paw in spatters of “Dorian Gray” and “Bright White” (likely enough to have covered that last door).
That week one of my favorite speakers shared “God doesn’t see what’s wrong with us; He sees what’s missing in us”. I laughed and proclaimed that at the moment I was clearly missing patience, because I was continually losing mine with the variety of mishaps and setbacks vexing my perfectly planned project. After allowing that statement to settle in my brain I remembered my recent struggle with the verse, ”Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1:2-4 MSG).
When God chooses the “gifting” of tests and challenges to reveal what is missing in our lives and that of our children, it will require a great deal of patience (especially if patience is what we’re missing). The more patience we develop, the more we will accomplish. We will be better equipped to partner with the Holy Spirit to learn from the discipleship opportunities in our relationships, finances, health, parenting, careers, with endurance and perseverance. God never wastes an opportunity to grow us, but we can be resistant (the opposite of patience) and miss His promise, provision, and blessing.
God is continually working to renovate our hearts and minds, upgrading our faith to the next level. It may get messy at times, but after His perfectly planned project is at its completion, and before the next begins, we would be wise to take a moment to appreciate the loving and skillful work of His hand. Trust the process, the timing, and the means by which God is building Christ-like character into our lives. He is faithful!
May we allow God to patch the holes and fill the cracks in our hearts.
– Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal