Before & After Part 2

Image from What Not To Wear

Yesterday we talked about the process God sometimes leads us through to take us from “before” to “after”.  Reaching the “after” can feel so rewarding, but oftentimes, the process can be a challenge.

Going back to our What Not To Wear example, each “project” has to decide that Clinton and Stacey know best.  They’re the experts and the “projects” choose to believe that they know what they’re doing.

They also have to be moldable and willing to try new things.  There’s a reason their friends put them on that show, it’s time to jump out of their comfort zone and take a risk.

Lastly, when they step into those hair and make-up stations, they have to trust that they’re in good hands and the stylists have a plan.  Whether it’s taking them from short to long hair, bleached blonde to brunette, or removing the layers of eyeliner and going for a more natural look; stepping into that chair takes a lot of trust.  (Who knows if my hairstyle “works” for me, but it’s rare that I let anyone new touch my locks.  I don’t trust just anyone). 

The result?  A beautiful, confident woman.  I’ve yet to see an episode where the “project” is unhappy with the result.  Sure there may be some tears along the way, but at the end they usually say, “It was all worth it!”        

Admittedly, changing the exterior is a lot easier than working on the interior, but hopefully you get the point.  So how do we manage to hold on while God takes us from “before” to “after”?

It takes faith to believe that God is our creator and He knows what He’s doing.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 
Jeremiah 29:11
Courage to be moldable and willing to take a risk.  Courage to say okay God, “you are the potter and I am the clay.”  
“You are our Father.
      We are the clay, and you are the potter.
      We all are formed by your hand.”
Isaiah 64:8

A willingness to trust that God is in control and ultimately He has a plan.

“But I trust in you, O LORD;
       I say, “You are my God.” 
My times are in your hands.”
Psalm 31:14-15

Patience to wait and believe that this process is a season, and it may take some time.

“Though it linger, wait for it;
   itwill certainly come
   and will not delay.”
Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV) 

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
         That I would see the goodness of the LORD
         In the land of the living.
         Wait on the LORD;
         Be of good courage,
         And He shall strengthen your heart.”
       Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)

God is the ultimate “author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).  Be it one process after another, He knows what He’s doing.  Yes, in the middle of a process or transition, it can be extremely hard to hold on, see the big picture, and believe that He truly has a plan, but oh, how He has a plan!  Like Paul to the Philippians In Philippians 1:6, I am confident of this:

“He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you” (Amplified).

“That the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears” (MSG).