Perfect

I’m gonna think out loud here for a minute.

“God doesn’t give us a perfect life.  He gives us the life we need to perfect us.”

This quote has been rolling around in my head for a couple of days now. I can’t remember where I read or heard it, but it is SO relevant.  It fits me like a glove right now.  I bet it does for you, too, huh?  Because we’re all looking for the Perfect Life.  The one where we have financial security, healthy and faithful children, amazing marriages, manicured lawns, thriving and fulfilling relationships with our friends and neighbors and loved ones, time for our hobbies and interests– no hangups or hurts.  Just happiness.

Not gonna lie, that sounds pretty sweet.  I want one of those.  And not just for me. I want it for the people in my life who are struggling, who just can’t seem to catch a break, for those who can’t find their way.  I want it to be easy for all of us.

But, alas, it isn’t real.  The Perfect Life is a lie cooked up by the enemy.  Because the truth is,  Life is messy, y’all.  It’s hard.

It’s messy and hard for my friend who seems to have it all together.  It’s messy and hard for my pastor.  It’s messy and hard for my dad.  It’s messy and hard for the Duck Dynasty people.  It’s messy and hard for the smartest, prettiest, richest, most amazing person I know (or wish I knew.)  For every single person walking this earth right now, they have messes and hardships I know nothing about.  Because that’s LIFE.

So glad that’s not the end of this post, though.  Life’s tough, get over it.  Great message there.

No!  There’s a purpose to it all.  Something is happening in us because of this imperfect life.  We are learning patience in a new way.  We find new ways to forgive.  We experience the freedom of repentance and humility.  We grow stronger, wiser, more compassionate… Our sharp edges are worn down.  We are broken, and rebuilt better.

The fact is:  We’re all going through something.

But the beauty of it is this:  We’re all becoming something else.

God is working in us, like a blacksmith in a forge.  It hurts sometimes, and there’s no minimizing that.  Sometimes, it really, really hurts.  We lose people.  We lose things that matter to us, or we are denied them.  We are wounded, and we wound others.  Our world crumbles.   We may be sitting on top of the rubble pile of what used to be our life, wondering where we went wrong and why God would allow this to happen.

But, He never said we’d have perfect lives.

He never promised a perfect journey.  He promised something better:  a perfect heart at the end.  He promised it would all be worth it.  He promised every bad thing will be worked for our good.  He promised that though this world is sand underneath us, He would be our solid place.

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

I love that:  a little while.   Every suffering fits there– into the phrase, a little while.  The heartaches, the life breaks, every single moment of suffering, – is just a little while.  We have to look up from the pain and imperfections, and remember, He’s doing something.   Even if all we feel right now is the burn, we must cling to the promises.  He is making something happen inside us that we need.  He’s moving us closer to Perfect.

The life you have, the messy one, the one full of hardships and imperfections– is the one you need.  It’s exactly, perfectly tailored to fit you like a glove.  It’s been custom designed by the one who loves you with the Perfect Love.

I’d rather have that, than the Perfect Life.

So, what to do while we’re waiting on the final version of our existence?  Love Him back.  Obey Him.  And ultimately, just trust Him.

Okay, that’s all for me.  Laundry, supper, and sick kids to tend.  Happy Wednesday, everybody.

 

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