God of the process.

August 9, 2010

God is in the process.  I’ve been forgetting that.

With sanctification, with church planting, with relationships, with schooling and work, with seasons of transition, with reconciliation, with healing, and even with things as minute as the time it takes to brush my teeth, I’ve been forgetting that He’s in the process.  He isn’t to be praised and enjoyed only when these processes find their completion.  He’s worthy of praise when they’re still being completed — when I’m still wrestling with sin, when everything isn’t neatly in place yet, when difficulties are still being worked out, when hearts are still being changed, when preparations are being made, when the resolution and the results are still pending.

What would it profit if life was only about instant beginnings and instant endings?  As a creature with an alloy heart, what would it profit if life always gave instant results, instant gratification, instant victory, instant deliverance, instant everything?  What discipline, what faith, what perseverance in love and faith, what strength in quietness, what true joy would be forged?

Wasn’t the metal of Joseph’s character found in the process, when he was still enslaved in Egypt and unrescued by unrepentant brothers, still imprisoned for false charges, still forgotten by those in authority?  Wasn’t Abraham’s faith tested in the process, when he was still without child, still wandering, still waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises?  Wasn’t the real resolve of Noah proven in the years and years of faithful ark building?  Wasn’t the sufficiency of Paul’s God revealed in the persistence of the thorn and the continued sufferings he endured in preaching the gospel?  And what of Jesus?  Wasn’t He proven to be the Son of God, the perfect lamb without blemish or spot, during the 33 years He lived among us in the form of a man?  His incarnation, His humble insertion into time and space, says something of the glory of God as found in the process.

Without the sometimes long and arduous processes, on what canvas would God’s glory be displayed?

The process isn’t just a necessary evil.  It’s where change happens.  It’s in the process that He teaches us to wait and watch, to hope and refine our hope, to trust, and to persevere through circumstances and relationships that often test our limits and tempt us to do the exact opposite.  It’s in the process that we are formed into the image of His Son.  We’d forfeit much if we forfeited the contentment, the patience, and the glory of God in the process.

As someone who loves to cross off items on her to-do list, as someone who is naturally a go-getter, I need the reminder often: He isn’t just God of the beginnings and endings; He’s God of the fullness, God of the processes, too.


7 Responses to “God of the process.”

  1. cathie hong Says:

    Thanks for this post Tia. Ministered to my heart and encouraged me during this “process” of my own. :]

  2. Kau Says:

    good thoughts, letitia, but you are in good company when longing for the culmination of those processes. Lines like “Oh Lord haste the day when the faith shall be sight” or “Haste thee on from grace to glory” come to mind. Or even Paul when he says it is far better to be with Christ. “Holy impatience?” haha

  3. tia Says:

    cathie — ❤ ❤ ❤ i miss you.

    kev — holy impatience. that aaalmost sounds like an oxymoron, but i get what you're saying; "patience with joy" doesn't mean complacency or without longing/striving. i def need work on that "holy" part though ;]

  4. michael chung Says:

    beautifully written. sometimes it’s so tough to see during the process… but we always seem to come out the other end with a greater appreciation for God.

  5. TIIIIAAAA. O man, thank you for that. My process is always consumed with me, my needs, when rather I should see God in all of it. I hope nor cal is treating you well.

  6. tia Says:

    miguel chungo, word-o.

    aj, come visit again soon. we’ll have you over next time :]

  7. mkkwon Says:

    thank you for the reminder. 🙂

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