Tuesday, November 8, 2011

S.....l....o.......w & p.....a...i...n....f..u.....l

Everything in life feels incredibly slow at present, almost painful in its processes. Life, I am discovering is just that--a process--and a slow one. I am also realizing nothing of value comes quickly or without effort. My natural impatience and laziness balks at this reality, yet it's simply true. This is easy to speak (or write in this case), but not so easy live.

Matt Chandler comments in one of his sermons, "progressive sanctification is horrifically slow." He's right. Emphasis on horrific. I think this truth is just beginning to set in, in earnest in my life. The gospel is actually starting to become real. My sin is becoming more painfully apparent and often overwhelming. And I am realizing that no amount of concerted effort on my part, or "pulling myself up by my bootstraps" will amount to anything when it comes to my sanctification. Whew. And that it's going to take a LONG time. Yikes.

And waiting on the process of others is just as difficult, if not far more so because I can't control others, I can only control myself, which apparently I can't really do that either. I can't make my kids desire to learn, grow, change, or become better, I can only encourage, prod, love, watch and wait. Wait. Always wait.

How often must God wait on us? And I'm complaining. Me, who is confined by space and time, complaining to an eternal God that He's being too slow. Absurd. But, true. I can't cause people to respond, move, act, initiate. I must wait. And be patient. With others, and with myself.

I also cannot make myself do better or "be better." It's a cosmic impossibility. And a maddening reality. Why must the process of personal growth & sanctification be so painfully slow? Why can I not simply realize my shortcomings and find remedy via that understanding? Because knowledge does not equate change. It's part of it, but not all of it. So frustrating. I assume if I "think" about something enough than surely it will become a reality, not true. Sadly. It's just not up to me. When will I realize this? That I cannot change myself. That I cannot sanctify my flesh. Slow & painful.

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