When progress feels painful…Hold on!

I get a kick out of riding on the back of my husband Michael’s Gold Wing motorcycle. I excitedly climb on, swing my leg over and secure myself for the ride. It’s like a two-wheeled recliner so I usually find the activity sheer bliss. For the past few years, however, our own street has been too bumpy to be comfortable.

I usually lean in and yell a bit through my helmet into Michael’s, “Oh, my goodness this street is so bumpy! Seriously, it hurts my head to wear this helmet.” The force of the jarring ride made my neck sore as I’ve endured quite a workout from the blows of the rough road.

We’ve recently had work done on the curbs, at the intersections of the cross streets and our street. That’s great! We are getting new curbs and handicapped accessible intersections, but I wonder when the street itself will be repaired?

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During my normal walk, I saw two gentlemen in the middle of the street. They were talking. One’s pick-up truck was parked along the street with the driver’s door still ajar, while the other stopped his yard work to meet him the middle.

I was still at a distance, but I gathered what they were saying as they motioned to each other and pointed at the road and curbs. They complained about the condition of the street. One said, “And it’s not slated to be repaved.”  I thought, that’s odd… why would they do all this work on the intersections and curb and not finish the road?” 

Little did I know, a few days later a plan to repave the entire street was set in motion. I sent out a group text to my parents and sisters: “I wanted to update you since you were all here recently. “Guess what? Exciting news! We are getting a whole new paved road. Not just the curbs and intersections…the whole road and it’s happening now!”

Multiple teams of men covered the street. Each wore an orange vest with reflective white tape and a hard hat.  They gathered on each corner and worked in the heat. They worked in clusters the way ants surround a crumb of bread as they carry it away. It was like having a deafening block party with layered percussion for each of my daily walks. The sound of the jack hammers and the beep, beep, beep of trucks backing up became familiar welcomed sounds of progress.

So many workers and so much time and attention had gone into the work of preparing the street for repaving. I was amazed!  It wasn’t just a resurfacing job. No, no, no!  There have been huge concrete forms that have been placed beneath the surface for new water or drainage systems.

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It’s been a real mess in the “all torn up stage” and driving home has been like an obstacle course with all the orange cones and signs. It seems as though they are always working.

I got to thinking about how God is always working in our lives and reworking things that just don’t work for us anymore. He does a great deal of preparation as well to make needed, welcomed and sometimes unwelcomed changes in our lives.  Yes, He even works on us and seems to make a mess of things for a while as he strips away the old.

I’m wondering… Is there an area where He is working in your life right now? Does it feel like he is drilling down to the water main? Does it feel real messy? Does navigating your life today feel like an obstacle course? Does the work seem to be taking a while? Do you ever wonder if you’ll live to see the end product come to fruition? Do you ever feel a bit undone or upside down?

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Is he using the “crew of your kids” to repave you? Maybe it’s your spouse or your coworkers that seem like his dumptruck backing up to unload rubble. Is something being jack hammered away from you?  I get it! I have no mascara left today because I’ve bawled my eyes out in honest lament before God about the pain, grief and disappintment. He was so precious to let me cry and be real with him. He was near as I let it out.

Perhaps it’s a painful time because something needs to be replaced and He is drilling down deep in us? No matter what, He is able to assemble a great crew and get the job done well. We must remember…God is for us not against us. He has good plans for our lives and goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life. He is a good, good father.

Let me exhort you and I’ll include myself in the mix. Let’s be patient and let’s stay hopeful. God is doing his best work in our lives. He can send in whatever crew he wants to get the job done. Remember He does this because He loves us. He is good. He is the best personal life engineer and hard hat worker around!

Hang on dear reader! The end result is worth the wait. God is the one who has the grand design and vision
for your life and is faithful to accomplish what He desires in you. Yes, sometimes it seems as if we are stripped bare as He reconstructs His better plan. Yes, the work takes awhile, usually longer than we think necessary, but who are we to question God. After awhile, in due season, the clean up occurs and the path is established and includes an improvement from before the process began.

Here are a few promises for you:

The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. Psalm 145:9

 

God is our refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth giveaway and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though it’s waters roar and phone and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1–3

…Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29b

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

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