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Scripture

[ecko_quote source="Philippians 1:6"]being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

Have you ever walked through the woods and smelled that fresh air? You'd feel instantly refreshed and full of life. We still don't fully understand how forests work. They are made so intricately by our Almighty God. Complex in nature and nearly impossible to recreate. If you ever paid attention to your biology teacher, you might have come across this word - Ecosystem. It's defined as "a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment" (Source). Each organism has its place in this ecosystem. They all behave and interact with each other in perfect sync to produce this pleasant to look at, forests.

When you walk through it, you wouldn't appreciate how beautiful these vast land of trees are. To you as a person, they would look "messy". There would be tree stalks and branches lying everywhere, dead leaves on the ground, murky water that has been stuck there for a while, smell that sometimes can be from rotten organisms, smaller plants that are crushed by animals stepping on them and much more. If you continue observing from where you are, it won't look so good let alone beautiful. The trees and plants would seem out of proportion. One might be very tall while the other is barely touching your knees.

And then you walk out of that forest and come to a bare land or open ground. You start to see something nice. It's still not beautiful, but it sure looks a lot better than what it is inside. Then you look at some pictures that people have taken of these forests from the sky, and you start to marvel. They cover the entire ground, and everything seems to be just right. Perfectly covering every part of the land and beautifully proportioned with shades of colour. The trees seem much more uniform, and they form beautiful patterns. But you see, you won't have this without the "unpleasant" stuff that you observed when you walked into the forest.

This is how our lives are; as Christians. We are continually being worked on. Sometimes we are on the mountaintops where we experience joy so immeasurable. And at other times, we are in the valleys, and it feels like no one hears our cry for help. But we need both the best moments in life alongside the worst to make us into who God wants us to be. Just like how all the organisms are working together in an Ecosystem, we ought to co-operate with God in all He wants to do in our lives. It may not be pleasant at times, but when you see yourself as God sees you, you will see how beautiful you are becoming in Him each day.

What's next?

So be encouraged by the fact that we are on a short journey. And we are carrying something that is of great value (our souls).

Would you sleep peacefully when you carry valuables on your journey in this World? No way! You would always be on the look out at all times. Our time of rest has not yet come. Let us be vigilant and continue in our faith so the one who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Image Source: 
[http://randomwallpapers.net/beautiful-forest-and-mountains-tree-grass-sky-cloud-nature-3840x2160-wallpaper350957.jpg]

Scripture

[ecko_quote source="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.[/ecko_quote]

Devotion

Were you ever frustrated, impatient, or even angry for waiting in the line for too long? Do you hate getting stuck in the traffic? Do you like everything about a pot roast except the time it takes to cook it? I am sure most of you have answered 'yes' to all those questions. I can say that with assurance because I mostly feel the same way too. It's in us. Or as some say, it's in our DNA. I would say, yes and no, but discussing that any further might lead us away from what I want to focus on. You see many of us feel this way about the things taking place in our lives sometimes. Right now, you might be feeling like everything is on a stand still. It's like the world has stopped moving and it's in those moments in life where our level of frustration is at its highest peak.

Ever heard of that saying, "Good things take time!". If you have, it's true! We see that in the Bible. It took Israelites 40 years to get to God's promised land. This 'waiting' can be seen in almost every Bible character. Jacob waited seven years to get Rachel (Genesis 29:20). Saul had to wait seven days for the appointed time set by Samuel (1 Samuel 13:8-14). David had to wait around fifteen years despite being anointed as the king of Israel (2 Samuel 2:1-5:5). Forget all that, Jesus Christ, our Saviour himself had to wait thirty years to start His earthly ministry (Luke 3:23).

So what's taking so long? Why do we need to wait? I believe God does something beautiful when we waiting. Let's get the most obvious out of the way. We all know that waiting on God gives us renewed strength (Isaiah 40:31). But it also does some other important things alongside that. God put us in this 'waiting' period to see our true motive; what's truly in our hearts. Waiting builds patience in our lives. It builds anticipation; It's like little children waiting eagerly to unwrap their Christmas presents. When they finally unwrap it, they are cherished. They feel it was worth the wait. Waiting transforms our character; It chips off those rough edges from our lives. Think of it as a rock being carved into something beautiful. It has to go through tough times to lose those extra bits but in the end, it gets all the praise for its beauty. Most of all, waiting to build our intimacy and dependence on God.

What's next?

Ever sang this song as a kid? "He's still working on me. To make me what, I ought to be. It took him just a week to make the moon and stars. The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be 'Cause He's still working on me" (See Full Lyrics). It's still applicable to us.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, let God work in your life. Wait patiently. Learn what he has to teach and trust Him. Because in the end, you will be more beautiful than ever.

Image Source: 
[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Maori_carving.jpg]

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