One of the themes in the bible that I find so encouraging is the theme of time. In some instances, such as David's rise to the throne, God seems to move agonizingly slow. In other instances, as in the healing of the man blind since birth, God heals in an instant*.
David spent years working through God's promise while he waited for the crown that had been promised to him - with no date of delivery. The blind man had spent a lifetime working through the reality that had been his since birth, the only life he knew, with no promise of anything better. Yet he continued on anyway, and then hearing that Jesus could perform miracles - called out for help!
In this journey towards improvement, each of us are striving towards different goals. The road to our crown, the road to our sight, is different. Some of us have been working this out our whole lives, some of us have just recently realized that Jesus can offer us hope and healing and wellness.
Faith is the key ingredient to grace-inspired goal setting. Faith is choosing to believe in the 'not yet', taking small actions that support our belief in God's promises. Faith is holding on, even when those small actions seem to have little effect on the larger whole.
My absolute favorite verse in the bible is this: "Listen! God's Word! The famine is over. This time tomorrow food will be plentiful..." It is a promise that what is now will not always be. Whatever your goals, this promise is for you!
In the case of the story behind this bible verse (you can read it in 2 Kings 5 - 7) help came overnight. In other situations, God may require a long road of obedience from you. But we can hold on to God's promise that He is working in and through us to create the health needed to do the work He's called us to do. All in HIS time.
The temptation is to grasp control and demand that God give us a completion date. Perhaps you're like me - I can stay strong and focused if I know there is an end in sight. But that requires little faith and even less discipline.
Remember, while you are improving your life (mental, emotional, spiritual, physical), God looks even further preparing us for heaven! A lifetime isn't long enough for us to meet our ultimate goal of becoming like Jesus. Our Father will continue to work in our hearts and help us grow far past what we can even imagine. So don't give up, beware short timetables and unrealistic expectations, cling to your faith in God's goodness and promises, and settle into the truth that God has a plan for your life! Some goals may be met in a month, others may come 'this time tomorrow', still others may take a lifetime - keep your eyes on Jesus and your feet on the path. It takes the time that it takes!
TODAY'S BIBLE READINGS
We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
Romans 5: 7-8 MSG
Elisha said, “Listen! God’s word! The famine’s over. This time tomorrow food will be plentiful—a handful of meal for a shekel; two handfuls of grain for a shekel. The market at the city gate will be buzzing.”
2 Kings 7:1 MSG
Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world.
Hebrews 11:13 MSG
Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it.
Hebrews 12:2 MSG
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)