Impatient with the progress

"It is a sure mark of grace to desire more...

For every look at self, take ten looks at Christ..." - Robert Murray M'Cheyne

I don't think it's an accident when all my grand plans and intentions for a really super spiritual week collide with my sluggish, sinful heart.

It's not that I've been neglecting reading the Word, but I know I'm not where I long to be. I want to spend more unhurried time just being with the Lord - reading, praying, soaking deeply in Scripture. I grow impatient with my perceived slowness in spiritual growth, in becoming like my Lord.

So I roll up my sleeves in attempt to fix the situation. Get up earlier. Check. Pray more. Check. Spend more time in the Word. Check. Not done out of a legalistic, self-righteousness, but an honest desire to be nearer to Christ. (But in order to please and glorify Him, or feel better about myself? Even good motives are tainted with sin...)

The only thing is, my heart has been getting in the way these past few days.

I've been tired, easily irritated. Impatient. Often overly-introspective and despairing over lack of growth.

It feels like my extra effort hasn't moved me any closer to the goal...

But tonight I am remembering that Jesus offers grace for this - for days that don't go perfectly according to plan, for a heart that is slow to change. He reminds me to keep persevering, that I am in His hands. To look to Him, not overly much at myself.

I am resting in the promise that the One who began a good work in me will perfect in until the day of Christ Jesus when I'm finally a finished, complete work.


anita said...


Loris said...

Great post Stephanie!

This is definitely something that all believers go through and struggle with, and thank God that we do for it is at those times that we examine ourselves and realize how short we fall of God’s perfect standards and how badly we need Christ! And it is when we are humbled that we obtain grace for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore we should (although it is difficult) rejoice during these types of hard times knowing that in the end “it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

For as Christ said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, FOR THEY SHALL BE FILLED.”

Although it may not seem to be the case sometimes, when we are "poor in spirit", "mourning" and hungering and thirsting after God we are blessed. :)

PS: I absolutely love the heart for Him that our Heavenly Father has given you! :)

Anna said...

As usual with your posts, I love this. Thank you for sharing this... reading it made me breathe a sigh of relief. I am striving to be newly consistent in spiritual disciplines, and I fear so many things: pride, self-sufficiency, self-righteousness, legalism, stagnation, etc. It is only His grace that enables me to grow spiritually, and I can look away from myself to Jesus. Such a good reminder.