There’s a famous quote that fits my subject for this weekly message of inspiration or irritation, you make the call. Here it is. Please be patient with me; God’s not finished with me yet. Here’s another one you can put on a t-shirt. Beware, Christian under construction.
Orange barrels indicate that roads are under construction. Here in Akron as soon as warm weather hits, it seems like every road around is being repaved or patched or having some other work done that is necessary but causes back-ups and noise and headaches. Just out the window from our office we can see Main Street, which is currently more orange from the cones than black from the pavement.
What are some of the indicators we give off or ways we expose our unfinished, rough, bumpy places to others? Our words, attitude, and character are a few of those symbolic orange barrels that warn those around us to proceed with caution. The truth is that all of us are still being transformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus.
Ask a contractor, and they’ll agree that construction sites are messy. The physical mess is part of the clutter, but the bigger messes are the reactions from motorists who are running late or resent being inconvenienced. Construction workers are called names that can’t be printed here. They face real danger when sometimes irate drivers speed through, well over the posted speed limit. This can literally put them in a life-or-death situation. It shouldn’t surprise us when people, and yes that includes Christians, make messes of their lives, their personal construction sites.
Granted, living through road construction is frustrating for many reasons, with a few of those pesky irritations being: detours, the one lane traffic which slows down our speedy lives, and the fact we know that we, the taxpayers, are paying for this aggravation. But, let’s consider the bright side of this equation. When the road is completed we are safer, the landscape is more attractive, and the journey more enjoyable.
Let me encourage anyone whose life is being jackhammered with sickness, bulldozed into a divorce or business reversal, or cut to the heart by some disappointment, failure, or earth- shattering experience. I feel your pain, and the mess is almost too much to move. You aren’t in this reconstruction alone. There are those who love you and are praying for you as you face the detours and discomfort. Be patient with road construction and with your spiritual and emotional growing process. In the end the finished product will bring glory to God, and you will be a better person having persevered through the difficult times.
Joel Hemphill composed a wonderful little song for children which captures the message I’ve sought to communicate. The title of the song is “He’s Still Working on Me.”
Verse 1 There really ought to be a sign upon my heart, don’t judge him yet, there’s an unfinished part, but I’ll be better just according to His plan, fashioned by the Master’s loving hands.
Chorus: He’s still working on me to make me what I need to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be, ‘cause He’s still workin’ on me.
Verse 2 In the mirror of His word, reflections that I see makes me wonder why He never gave up on me, but He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray. Remember He’s the potter, I’m the clay.
Let’s be patient with each another, as we’re all still a “work under construction.” Remember that the best is yet to come. All of this and Heaven too.