Father’s Day 1976, my dad received one of the best presents ever, or at least I thought so. My mom gave him a huge box for the backyard that included the description, some assembly required. It was a geometric jungle gym for my brother and me that was shaped like a rocket and would be approximately six feet wide and nine feet high. The bars that made the rocket were red, white, and blue. My dad spent untold hours building it that day.
We moved two more times after that Father’s Day, each move the rocket was taken apart and reassembled at the next house. It never occurred to my dad to have left it behind; even knowing the hours it took to dismantle, pack, move, and reassemble the rocket.
So many seasons in my life could have been labeled some assembly required. The moves I mentioned above were full of anticipation and anxiety as I tried to navigate the social status of new towns and new schools. Some of my attempts to make friends were awkward or unreciprocated, leaving me wishing for the place we had just left. I had not yet learned building a true and lasting friendship would take time and work.
The summer I accepted Christ I had no idea what it would look like going forward, I just knew the way I had tried to put my life together had been a disaster. So much pain and heartache that was avoidable, if I had listened to the guidance of my folks.
One of the most valuable lessons for me was that while I had accepted Christ and was truly a new creation, without mark or blemish, I was still being made whole. I was complete and still being completed by the Holy Spirit. My faith may be established and absolute in who I am because of Christ, I am still praying and growing in His likeness. I am perfect and still being perfected (Hebrews 2:10).
My understanding of grace and mercy, forgiveness and love, of how to be spiritually healthy while loving on those who are spiritually broken; all of this takes time and work. We don’t come away from our acceptance of Christ and walk right into Heaven. We remain on Earth to grow in the faith and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). We remain to love on others and encourage them to seek the healing and wholeness that can only come through salvation in Christ. This also takes time and work.
Just like my dad taking the jungle gym apart and reassembling it at the next house, God willingly comes in and takes us apart to put us back together, even better than we were before. The Greek word for this is τελειόω which means to be complete, finished, like in a race. Through Christ we are made whole and complete (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When I open my eyes to see the world as God sees it, I am able to see the people around me with invisible labels that say, some assembly required. They are broken from previous decisions, battling addictions or illnesses, needing less judgment and more time and grace (James 1:4).
Best Beloved, if you are seeking God’s perspective of this world, what are you really seeing? Are you labeling people with your own tags or are you seeing them as our Heavenly Father sees them?
Dear Ones, may we be doing the hard work in our own lives with the Holy Spirit to grow into the sons and daughters of Christ that God has already declared us to be. May we remember who we were before Christ and love on those who have yet to meet Him (Hebrews 10:19-25).