Some days I wish I could wake up made up, ready for my day like the women on television. I don’t like taking the time each morning to shower, and using all the chemicals on the face and hair to look presentable. I think it takes up too much time to go through the process. On the other hand, I do not want to go out without makeup and my hair done. I wish for some way to avoid the process it takes to get the end result.
I wish I did not say the wrong thing when someone upsets me. I wish I could be a picture perfect Christian woman like I see in the ads of magazines. I wish I didn’t envy the other woman wearing a dress I wish I could wear because the color or the style is not right for my type of body. I wish I didn’t brag about my latest accomplishment. I wish I made the right choice, but now I’m living with the consequences.
A baby does not just start walking. He goes through the process of scooting, crawling, standing, and then taking a few steps. He did not start talking with complete sentences. He babbled sounds, made syllables, formed words, and finally said a complete sentence.
Reality check—wishes require actions to come true. In order to be presentable I must spend the half hour to hour of time to achieve the end result. Our character development as believers in Christ necessitates a process. It is impossible to wish we had character. The process usually comes through a series of testing and passing of time.
Testing shows up in a variety of forms, some more severe than others. Some face serious illness, others face having to wait longer than expected at the traffic light. However our trials show up in our lives, it develops our character. We choose how it shapes us. We can be better or bitter. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans that:
… we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. ~Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)
Our trials, or sufferings, produce perseverance, character and hope. The hope we have in Christ our Lord will never fail us. We have the deposit of the Holy Spirit who empowers us to go through the process. Henry D. Thoreau said, “You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one.” So by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us persevere by hammering and forging ourselves, and enduring the process it takes to reach the end result.Engrafted by His Grace--