I Will Finish!

Recently, at church we were discussing the story of Noah and how he was instructed to build the ark. We talked about how God gave him specific instructions for this boat, warning that a great flood would come. God was specific about everything except when the flood would actually happen.

Rumor has it that a considerable amount of time had passed between when Noah was given the instructions and when the flood occurred. It really got me thinking about the things I expected to happen, but gave up on because they didn’t appear to be happening soon enough. In Noah’s case, how tragic would it have been for him to stop building the ark because he hadn’t seen any rain? If you think about it, the dimensions of the ark were huge, which speaks to the amount of time required to actually finish building it. And personally, I wouldn’t want to have to build anything of that magnitude in the rain. So then, maybe it isn’t so bad that “it” isn’t happening immediately. Perhaps, just maybe, we’re being afforded time to get ourselves prepared for “it”.

What makes us give up before it happens?

Sometimes we get defeated because of our past experiences with disappointments and let downs. But God does not fail us. We must internalize that fact, so that our experiences with imperfect people do not persuade us to doubt God. It is our belief in God’s goodness that makes life different. (I know what you’re thinking; How is a flood good?) So, the flood was unfortunate, but God’s goodness led him to prepare Noah and his family to be protected from it.

But, Noah had to believe that God wasn’t just handing out threats.  And while that was a bad situation, we must draw from this that God’s intention is to bring to pass whatever he has spoken. For us, it’s those desires he spoke into our being before we were even formed.

A lot of times, we speak of huge visions and dreams that God has placed on our hearts without considering the time and effort required to bring them to complete fruition. So here are two scriptures to consider.

The parable in Luke 14:25-32 addresses the importance of counting up the costs required for whatever it is that you plan to start.

We should do our best to take an accurate assessment of the requirements for a successful launch and sustaining of what God has placed on our hearts to do.

Habakkuk 2:3 (paraphrased) says that the vision is for an appointed time…though it tarries, wait for it. For it will certainly come and will not delay. 

This scripture speaks to the patience we must have concerning the process of bringing our visions and God given assignments to pass.

The bigger the vision the more preparation and building required to execute it. It’s key to understand that with God given ideas and plans, God’s often desires to make a large impact. For big things, you must plan ahead so that the timing will be just right!

Has it been a long time between when you first got the vision and its manifestation?

Are you wondering what the hold up is, like I once did?

Could it be that God is sharing what He plans to do in your life way ahead of time so that you can be adequately prepared for it? Perhaps its going to make such a big impact that you’ll need to commit some time to preparing for it before it happens.

Let’s commit to finishing!

I’ve decided that I’m going to do my best to keep doing my part until I begin to see the rest unfold. Noah worked on the boat until it was finished. Then God said revealed that in one week the flood would occur. Had Noah not been diligent, he would not have been ready to load the ark, and he would have risked the lives God wanted to save.

Being out of sync with God’s timing will put lives at risk that God wants to save.

“It” may not have happened yet, but keep working on it! Be consistent in whatever it will take for the God given vision for your life to completely manifest. When we are lead by the spirit, the things we do are never a waste of time. Everything is leading up to the future God has planned for you, which is spoken of in Jeremiah 29:11.  Everything you’ve put into it is worth it, because our God does not speak and not perform. We may not know when, but the least we can do is be ready!

Did something come to mind while reading this that you feel you need to continue working on? Please share in the comments. Let’s talk!


Please Excuse our Progress

A few months ago, the Zaxby’s on North Monroe was under construction. The title of this post is what was on their marquee. It read, “Please Excuse our Progress”. I’m sure they were referring to the construction site that was their exterior as it underwent changes, but their choice of words made me wonder. If progress is such a good thing, why would it need to be excused? Words carry so much meaning, so definitions often bring a new perspective to my initial thought.

Progress by definition is movement toward a goal; that’s a good thing. And usually if you ask someone to excuse you, it’s because of some action and circumstance that interfered or conflicted with the norm. For instance, you might ask someone to excuse your tardiness because you were supposed to be in a place at a designated time and your being late had a negative affect on the circumstance.

After reading the multiple definitions I found for the verb excuse, I could go on and on about how that  may not have been the best choice of word in conjunction with the word progress. But for the sake of short attention spans, I’ll pull out just one of the definitions.

Excuse- overlook.  Using substitution it would read “Overlook our progress.”

Try not to notice the progress we’re trying to make.

How often do we want people to turn a blind eye to our lives until we’ve reached some point of perfection? Or how often do we try to hide the parts of us that are still in the development stage? Growth and change should be looked upon as good although it isn’t in a state of perfection.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Although it may have been a little more difficult to navigate the area because of the construction, the restaurant was still open to those who wanted what is on the inside of Zaxby’s, because that part wasn’t changing. If we see ourselves like the restaurant, we shouldn’t shut down or isolate ourselves because of the changes we are undergoing.

Our changes and growth only present the people in our lives with a challenge to love deeper.

Just a few miles away, the capitol has this sign displayed. pardonJust a few different words makes a difference. What stuck out to me about this particular sign was “your” Capitol. To me, it emphasized the fact that although things are under construction, and may be posing a temporary inconvenience, the outcome is for your benefit. The use of our and your has a sense of inclusion which may elicit some understanding and the pardon they are requesting in their sign.

The point here, I guess, is that positive change is good, and it should be embraced whether you’re the one changing, or you know someone or something that is.

If you’re changing, don’t be ashamed or feel the need to apologize if you feel a little rough around the edges, at times. And if you notice someone going through a process of change (which most of us usually are) be patient and understanding.