Rubbing off rough edges
Rough edges that are invisible-to-the-naked-eye might be the ones that require the most rubbing. I have more than I can count. And God has been patiently rubbing. I have not been so patient in the process.
He's good at rubbing off rough edges in just the right way. And it's good that He's full of wise and happy and persistent love, because this is totally not the way I would choose if left on my own. I tell Him again and again that my way would be pretty great. But His is the way that produces the smoothest and most longstanding results. And I trust Him.
I've been distant from To Choose Joy for the past few months, needing to focus and learning to re-focus on the what's and who's that are most-present-in-front-of-me during this most-present season of edge-rubbing. But I've missed you here, for sure! I've had a million and three dreams for the shop and new card sets and posts and ways to reach out, but each one has had to take second (or third or fourth) place to all of the things that God has been doing to shape me. He knows His priorities.
Which also tends to be a tremendous challenge on my dream-dabble-do-all-the-things patience. And on my mighty-mouse speed (if I was a bit taller, I might say Wonder Woman speed, but Mighty Mouse is probably more accurate). So many rough edges needing a good rub. (You'd think something like CRPS might have taught a girl to slow down, but that brings us to the stubborn-little-scrapper rough edge).
It's comforting to know that I don't have to race or compete or fight or or flail or keep up or place-hold when it comes to God's actual dreams.
And, in case you've been feeling like you might miss out on your chance or that you can't keep up in a fast-paced, competitive world, my friend, let's remember together that He began a good work in you and in me, and He will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6). He will. In His time. With His resources. By His strength. Because of His mercy and love. We won't miss it. He won't let us miss it.
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 1:4-6)
Verse 6, right there, gets quoted all the time. But God lit up my heart with the two verses that immediately precede it, the other day. For all of the ups and downs in our faith walks, I think it can be tempting to think that we're not effective for Christ unless we see things going well or unless we feel like we're doing things the way we're "supposed to." But here, Paul emphasizes a gospel partnership that has been causing joy "from the first day until now." We can be confident that from the first moment we step into faith in Christ until the very day we're walking in right now, we are partnering in gospel work. Even when we can't see it or feel it. Even when it might seem like we're failing miserably. Even when we're hurting. Even when our eyes and our hearts wander.
Because the God who is responsible for beginning a good work in us--His good work in us--is the same God who carries us, moment-by-moment, to the completion of that work. Every step is part of a story much greater than this moment. Far greater than what we can see or feel right now. He started the work. He began the story. He will equip us with all that we need for it. And He will carry us through it. Rubbing off, sloughing off, loving off our rough edges. Making us more like Jesus in every step. All the way to the end.
That being said, I'll be away from the shop and the blog until mid-August. Have a beautiful summer!