Far From Completion

“…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

A couple months ago, my husband and I started what I thought would be an easy project: painting the calf-poop brown guest bedroom. Everything was prepped and ready to go; the plan was to scrape, sand, prime, and finish the ceiling together, and then the following week, while Chris was away for work, I would clothe the walls in gray. But thanks to the lead-based paint on the ceiling and a plaster filler that wouldn’t set, the project came to an unexpected halt.

To say that I was disappointed would be a bit of an understatement; in that moment I felt defeated. Chris, who’s been working over 65 hours a week lately, was heading off for a full week of traveling and this paint job was the distraction I had created for myself. I was so excited to have something to focus on while he was gone; I couldn’t wait to get it done. So when I found out that wasn’t going to happen, my expectations were destroyed. For an entire week I’d have to stare at a closed door, knowing that what waited for me on the other side was a guest room covered in dusty plastic and a layer of toxic lead paint chips.

To be honest with you, this is a pretty accurate description of what my life feels like right now.  Instead of admiring shiny finished products, I am in the trenches, doing the hard work and feeling far from completion. I’m writing but it feels like the Lord has put a pause on writing my book. I’m investing in a marriage that feels strained due to work-dictated distance. Because I have hypermobile joints, I’m lifting weights, practicing yoga, and stretching very intentionally in order to strengthen my body. I’m pouring my heart into the work in each of these areas, and quite honestly, I’m tired of working; I want to see the finished product.

But here’s what my painting project reminded me: regardless of delays or unanticipated, extra steps, the work will get done and the project will get finished.

A month later than expected, Chris and I finished painting the guest bedroom. And let me tell you, it is beautiful. The stained, lead-infested paint chips have been replaced by a crisp, glossy white ceiling. And the calf-poop brown is quickly forgotten with one glance at the matte, dolphin-gray walls that embrace the dark wooden trim.

Seeing the beauty of this finished project was so encouraging for my soul because it was a tangible, visible example that hiccups, breaks, or delays in execution will not affect the outcome; all the hard work will lead to completion.

Philippians 1:6 says, “He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”  It doesn’t say, “He who began a good work might carry it to completion,” or, “He will start a good work;” the scripture says he WILL carry it to completion.

I think that’s the motivation I’ve needed lately. A physical and mental reminder that the work I’m doing is not in vain. And I hope it might be an encouragement to you too. Maybe you’re like me, struggling to see an end in sight, or maybe you’re actually in the beautiful stage of admiring the success of your hard work; wherever you are today, my prayer is that you would be proud of the good work you’re doing and dig your heels in, expectant for the beautiful completion that is to come.

Mindy Larsen

Mindy is a writer living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She loves donuts, the power of Scripture to combat anxiety, and cuddling on the couch with her husband, Chris, and their cat, Finn. Mindy writes to encourage others with words that point towards Jesus on her blog (www.loveminblog.com) and loves to connect with others on Instagram (www.instagram.com/mindykaysl)

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