Philippians 1:6 – “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Have you ever felt like God is distant from you? Like he’s gone silent? You’re seeking but he is nowhere to be found? There are times in our lives when we see the fingerprints of God on EVERYTHING, and then there are times when we feel alone, forsaken, forgotten. Does God take a step away from us? Is it because he’s too busy for us or mad at us? Are we being punished? Is that why we haven’t been hearing from God?
Those are tough questions. Questions I know we all sometimes ask and I believe one weekend while I was decorating, God gave me a few answers.
I love to decorate. In my head I’m like a Joanna Gaines with my strategic placement of books and baskets and flowers. Perhaps this is why our family moves nearly every year, it’s just an opportunity to decorate something totally new. Our last move brought us to Mountain Home, AR where we have this large open space between the kitchen and family room, just perfect for an open dance floor and our large bookshelf. That bookshelf holds my favorite treasures. My books, my photos and my big metal letters B & L for BIG Life. Now I’m going somewhere with this, so here’s the part you need to hear.
After about an hour of decorating that large bookshelf, I stepped back and looked at it. I STEPPED BACK. Why? To see how I was doing. Sometimes when you’re so close to your work you can’t see how it’s progressing, so you have to take a step back and get a new perspective. I wasn’t stepping away because I was angry, or even finished … I wanted to admire my work!
And I stood there and thought “wow, that looks good!” But I first had to step back.
An artist does the same thing. They paint, then they step back to get perspective before continuing their work. They step back.
My friend, God sometimes steps back to admire his work in you. He goes silent so he can see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown. It’s not because he’s done with you. Oh no, he is going to complete the work he started in you and you’re just going to keep getting better.
His distance and his silence is sometimes a sign of progress in your life. He is proud of how far you’ve come and he is looking at you to see how he can help you even more. God is getting ready to HELP you, not leave you.
I believe we can apply this lesson in so many areas of our lives. For those on a journey to becoming healthy, goodness it can be discouraging can’t it? We can’t see the minimal daily progress. But could it be because we’re so close to it? Do we need to take a step back and gain a new perspective to see how far we’ve really come? You have changed! You are better! You are making healthier choices. And the work in you is not done yet. You’re on your way.
And so it is with our children. We’re in the throws of raising kids every day and when you spend every single day with them, you can miss how far they’ve really come. It’s easy for me to meet your children and see the good in them … but as their Mama all you see is their faults. TAKE A STEP BACK. Step it back girl. Back, back, back it up. Give yourself some distance. Watch them from a distance and see how much they’ve grown. See how they ARE learning. You’ll be amazed what you see if you just take a step back and watch.
Sometimes we’re just too close to the problem. Too personally connected to see the progress. And just as I had to take a step back from that bookshelf to take it all in and admire my work before continuing, we need to do the same in our own lives. Where do you need to get a bigger perspective in your own life? Where do you need to step back and see the progress so you’re empowered to continue the grind?
And don’t forget, God may be taking a step back to admire YOU today. To see how far his girl has come. To see how he can better help you on your journey. So if you don’t hear from him or if you feel a distance, don’t worry … he’s just taking it all in and loving on ya. He’s not done with you yet, he’s still working on you, but I’m pretty sure he’s saying he loves what he sees so far.