And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. [Genesis 17:1 (NKJV)]
Have you ever taken your car into the garage for routine maintenance and had the mechanic give you a long list of other repairs that need to be made? You end up with a different battery, aligned wheels, new brakes and a big bill. Have you ever had your yearly check-up, never expecting any medical issues, only to have the doctor find a number of issues that need attention? You end up leaving the doctor’s office with prescriptions, orders for more tests, and a recommendation to see a specialist. Have you ever gone to the dentist’s office to have your teeth cleaned only to have the dentist discover cavities, gum disease, or the need for a root canal? You end up making several more appointments and consider applying for a second mortgage. Sometimes “routine” maintenance isn’t nearly as routine as we expect it to be. Yet, when we think about it, do we want a mechanic who could let us drive an unsafe car? Do we want a physician who would ignore a disease or a dentist who allowed decay to go unchecked?
God doesn’t do routine maintenance; He’s a full-service restoration shop. We’re broken and he’s not going to stop until we’re fixed. Once we let him into our lives to work on one thing, He’s not about to quit. No shoddy patch-up jobs in God’s shop – He does complete overhauls! God won’t stop at something like a simple honesty repair when He sees a patience issue. Moreover, He won’t stop there; He’ll get out His heavenly tool kit and get to work on a selfishness adjustment, replace the foolishness with godly wisdom, and then get to work on that stubborn streak of pride. Even if the obedience problem is particularly pesky, He won’t let that deter him from His holy work.
We don’t have to be perfect to be loved by God but, because he loves us, He wants us to be all that we can be. We don’t have to be perfect to receive His help, but the only help He will give us is help to become what He wants us to be. Unlike the mechanic, physician or dentist, he won’t charge us an “arm and a leg”; that wouldn’t be nearly enough. He wants all of us: body and soul!
Thank you, God, I give myself into your hands; make of me what you will.
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. [C.S. Lewis]