Most of my good friends know a dirty, little secret about me: that is, I have a stockade of freshly laundered socks in my house almost all the time. We call it the “SOCKade”! Unfortunately, this is not the only stash of uncompleted tasks in the Shaw home, but it is the most frequent irritant to us when we need to get out the door quickly. The truth is that I am one of the queens of unfinished business domestically speaking. While I’m usually eager to serve my family in this way, good intentions do not always give way to finished results. I feel quite certain that I’m not the only one who struggles with this…
While I can have a huge laugh over this “flaw” in my personality, all joking aside, I know the Lord wants me to do better in this area. It has caused me to take a look at the spiritual areas where I do this as well. I’m always amazed when I open up this conversation with the Lord. He showed me this verse this morning as I did so. It made me chuckle at first, because I could almost visualize Paul talking directly to me:
The Lord loves our desire to please Him and others out of the right motive. And, oh, how He must love it when our eager willingness is matched by our completion of it with the means that He gives us. Sometimes it is simply a matter of discipline and priorities, like the SOCKade; other times, it is the deeper sacrifice of surrender to Him, you fill in the blank.
Let’s ask ourselves some questions:
• Are we eager to start the projects, tasks & missions that the Lord lays on our hearts? When we start them, do we persevere and finish?
• What challenges and obstacles get in the way of our “almost accomplishments”?
• Do we also have the desire to work through the buildup of anything hindering us spiritually? What stuff have we let build up in us that needs to be put away?
• What “means” would it take to finish what we’ve started?
• Read the following verses: 1 Thessalonians 5:24 & Philippians 1:5-6---If the Lord asks us to do something, will He give us what we need to finish it?
So, as the kids and I (yes, they're the kids' socks too!) work on depleting the stockade of socks and other stockpiles of things, I pray that all of us would take this challenge from Paul to sort through our own unfinished-though-it-began-in-eagerness offerings to the Lord. It will take perseverance, but along the way, it will help us become “mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4)