There is a new apartment complex going in along a road I drive nearly every day. I watched intrigued this summer as dirt was pushed aside and a reservoir was dug. Large pipes were inserted into concrete foundations, walls began to rise, and men in hardhats wielded hammers big enough to see from the road. It was a very busy place.
But some of the buildings are still in the process of being built. Insulation sheets disrupt the view, large mud flats mar the grassy scenery, and the reservoir is littered with construction materials.
As I drive by I imagine myself as the “still under construction building” facing the new building. I can see how beautiful and sturdy the new building is, and I can see all of the flaws of my own structure. How can I ever compare to the new building, I wonder. Look at my ugly insulation. Look at my covered windows. There’s no way I will ever match up to a building like that one. Who would ever want to live in me?
The new building reassures me that it didn’t start out this way. “You weren’t around this past summer to see the ugly mud mounds, the hammering hardhats, the bare, rising walls of my now finished building. Be patient: You, too, will one day be a finished building.”
“BUT,” the building goes on to say, “I am not yet perfect. You see that home there in front of us? It has been here for many, many years. People come and visit it, children play in its yard, and warm lights glow in it at night.”
Sometimes I am guilty of looking at more mature Christians and thinking, I will never be able to be like that. But I have to remember that I wasn’t there to see the days that they were just being built. Ground that they thought was sturdy was suddenly pushed aside and cleared. A foundation was laid and then bare wood and insulation showed. And even now, as they appear to be perfect to me, they look at another who has been in the subdivision longer than themselves, and they know they are not yet what they will one day be. We are all being built, and then renovated, by the Master Carpenter.
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. Philippians 1:6