The Marion Square is under construction! Buildings are being renovated, and it looks like a bomb went off next door to the Mercantile. There are messy projects everywhere. But I’m not worried, not even when they block roads off, and I’m forced to take a detour. I trust Mayor Absher has a vision, and he knows what he’s doing.
Truthfully, I didn’t trust our mayor when he was first elected. Nothing against him, but I’d never met him, and people who follow up on campaign promises are rare. Then COVID hit, and his leadership and obvious love for our community won me over. He has earned both my trust and my vote. So now, when he wants to tear stuff up, I trust it’s for the good of our community. I don’t need to see the finished product to believe in his vision.
Not to compare our mayor or city projects to the work of God, but as I drive around our square, I’m reminded of God’s sanctification process. Sanctification is a fancy way to describe the slow and often messy way God makes us more like Jesus. This process is best described in Romans 8:28-29: “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.”
God has a vision for our lives, and He promises His plans for us are good. He doesn’t want to harm us; He wants to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). But most of us need a major renovation process. I know I did, and I do. But as we see with our square, rebuilding is messy and often painful work.
I recently heard Jeremy Camp say, “I don’t always like God’s tactics, but I always love the results.” He said this in an interview discussing how God restored his life after losing his young wife to cancer. Did God cause the cancer? Absolutely not. But according to Jeremy, God used the tragedy to knock down walls of unbelief and build a stronghold of faith that can weather any storm.
Here’s one thing I know for a fact, we don’t get a pass on the hard stuff in life. If I’m going to get knocked down, I want it to count for something. I want to get back up with more of Jesus’ tenacity and faith than I had when I fell. When God works that in me, and I rise a little wiser, tougher, and full of hope, I look a little more like Jesus.
Because God has earned my trust, I don’t get very upset when walls come down, and I’m forced to take detours in life. I also have more grace for my messy, rough edges. I’m being sanctified. I also don’t get worried about your messiness because you’re being renovated, as well. So next time God begins knocking down your walls and tearing up your status quo, just put up some pylons and tell everyone, “Don’t mind the dust. I’m under construction.”