Keep at it

There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the very God who started this great work in you will keep at it, and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

Philippians 1:6

This is The Message version if the classic verse about “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it,” something I feel like my parents said a lot during my teenage years, perhaps in the hopes it would encourage me. That was a lost cause back then — I enjoyed wallowing in emo back then — but I always thought this was about God finishing what He starts.

This time, though, it really struck me that in this verse, He doesn’t give up. He “keeps at it,” as The Message puts it, persistently working on the project that is my heart.

I like the modeling here. We’re so focused on finishing that I think sticking with a task is not appreciated. We value the destination, not the journey (as evidenced by the travel misery that is airline flight today!), the end result over the process.

In this verse I see God starting and finishing, yes, but also being persistent over however long it takes. It’s not an easy project, done quickly. It takes time and effort and hanging in over the long haul. I’m glad He does, and I’m glad for the reminder that is what we’re called to do.

So many worthwhile things in life take a long time. In this age of instant everything, we don’t appreciate that some things just take time.

This is good for me to remember, as I’ve been doing a side project at work since about June that doesn’t look too wrap up any time soon. I’m in the “keep at it” phase of the project. If it’s good enough for God, it’s good enough for me.

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