About six months ago (if not longer), a project began by my house to add a turning lane and widen the road to remedy the traffic issues that were plaguing the area due to a FedEx distribution center being constructed. The project began and it was clear that something was going on, it just wasn’t clear exactly what was happening, when it was happening, and when it would be finished.
About a half mile down the street, a new WalMart Neighborhood Market was being constructed. The road was impacted, a new signal was installed, and there were signs of the major construction. Driving past this every day, it was interesting to watch the progress. The site was cleared, the site was graded, the building was constructed, and it all happened fairly quickly. Before I knew it, the building was up and ready to open.
Meanwhile, just down the road, it would seem that the road expansion had halted or even gone backwards. There was no evidence of what had caused the holdup. I drove by the same project on many a sunny day and wondered what on earth had caused this kind of delay. I would see workers out there on site but at the end of the day, I couldn’t tell what kind of progress had been made.
Never being one to shy away from complaining, I took to social media to vent and complain. I was hoping that some of my local friends might have had more insight than I as to what was actually going on with the project. No dice. The project continued…….at a snail’s pace.
The other day, a friend of mine sent me a text as a wonderful reminder to me. She wrote, “We’re all “under construction” by God and sometimes we can’t see why it’s taking so long to get thru the construction project. It may involve detours & delays & a big mess we didn’t see coming, but in the end, the road project is done & looks all pretty & all the mess was worth it. Consider the road construction pure joy!”
I read her text over and over again and sat there with a mix of awe and shame. I was amazed at the insight (not who had given it, you’re a wise woman, Mary) and ashamed that I hadn’t taken more of a step back to really think through what I could learn from it. The shame didn’t last long, I’ve moved past the place in my life where I beat myself up over and over again.
I began to think about just how right my friend was and how true it is. In fact, the Apostle Paul even wrote encouragement to this very end to the church in Philippi when he said, “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.”
We’re all under construction. The only plans that we have are that we need to look more like Christ. There are delays and detours, just as my friend said. Oftentimes, we can’t see the progress, maybe because it’s subtle, maybe because it’s beneath the surface, but when we don’t see progress, noticeable progress, we get frustrated and wonder what’s going on.
All the while, God is at work, striving and moving ahead to complete a work that has been started in us that will one day be complete. When we get to completion, it will all be worth it, but in the meantime, we do our best to wait…..patiently……hoping that it is worth it in the end and hoping that we begin to see the kind of progress that we’ve been hoping and waiting for!