being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
I love that verse. It gives me such hope. It is my very favorite verse. I have had seasons in the past when I have been drawn to other verses, verses about grace and heaven. I’m sure seasons will come when I’m drawn to other verses. But for now, this is it.
This is the season of littles. It’s a season of living life inside a rock tumbler with all our unrefined and immature gifts banging against each other all day, every day. A season of waking up to read the Word and sitting quietly in a rocking chair with a cup of steaming coffee in hand for 2.9 seconds before the dog vomits in the floor or someone cries out in pain because they bit their own finger. From that moment on, the day goes fast and hard. I never stop moving, they never stop talking, we never stop thinking. And because of that, there aren’t many moments that pass by without someone in danger of sin.
I wake in the morning full of repentance over my sins of yesterday, and determined and steadfast in my heart to respond with gentleness and sweet words to each need of my family. But somewhere during the day, I fall short. The word for sin actually means to miss the mark. I have a target, but when I aim as well as I can at that mark, I still often miss. Sometimes I’m close to the target, but not quite on the mark. Other times, my arrow didn’t even hit the target. It went way over it and over a fence.
And sometimes, that fact makes me lie in the floor on my face sobbing because as long as I’m bound in this body on this fallen earth with these children bound to their own bodies, I am prone to sin. But, then I read this verse. He is faithful. He will continue His good work in me. I don’t struggle with what I did before. What once made me angry in years past, I could take all day long and make it look like a joy ride. But, I’m not around those things, I’m around little children. And I am being refined by them. And that verse reminds me of that. But, there’s another side of that I often forget. so I need a reminder.
I have three bracelets made of raw stones. One made of raw and unrefined amethyst, for my February first born. One made from sapphire stones, for the little girl with eyes to match her birthstone. And then one made of rubies, for that littlest one. The thing about those bracelets is that they didn’t cost much. Because they’re unrefined and not perfectly cut. However, if I had the experience and tools, I could put the time in and refine those stones. I could cut them and polish them, and eventually, those stones would become jewels. But I do have the experience and tools to help refine those little girls, maybe not the ones I need in years to come, but I have enough for today. God has promised that.
I have a daughter full of compassion and grace, but who often wants to control and boss. I have another daughter who is joyous and trusting, but who often wants to ignore what needs to be done and let someone else take care of it. And one who is full of surprises and laughter, but who often throws tantrums when she can’t have all of the attention.
They are valuable and their gifts are valuable. But their gifts are unrefined and raw, causing their sinful nature and emotions to be unrefined and raw. And that’s okay, because He is faithful. He will continue the good work he has started. The unrefined gifts are the proof of that. They are the deposit He has already made into their eternal souls, and part of my job is to stop holding them to a human standard and trying to be their Holy Spirit. Love is what molds. I could nag all day long and maybe refine a bit, like a slow stream. But loving someone enough to live with them through their flaws, in spite of their flaws, and helping them to strive for more refines like a rushing waterfall. We can’t always see that, of course. Because waterfalls are loud and hard to get too close to, without splashing you with water or pulling you down as well. and homes full of little children who spill all the cups and bicker and run and giggle and hug hard are much the same. Getting close will be loud. They’ll splash you as well and likely pull you down into the mess to be pounded by the waters. You’ll all lose your cool and calm, and bump into one another repeatedly in an attempt to find your ground. BUT, you’ll be refined in ways you never knew possible. And though I can’t speak from experience yet, I have a feeling that one day, I’ll stand on firm ground again, soaked and exhausted but with a deeper understanding of His grace. And I’ll be so very grateful for the season of littles.
Keep going. He is faithful to continue that good work! and not just in you, but in those kiddos too, praise the Lord! 😉