I’m just “Unfinished”!

Start of a mural of horses

Start of a mural of horses

Have you ever created something that took you many hours? Have you ever built a custom house or known someone who has? Have you ever painted or watch someone paint on canvas or paint a mural?

If you have ever walked through a house with just the stud walls up, sometimes it’s hard to really get a feel for what the house is really going to look like. If you don’t have the blueprints you might confuse a bedroom with an office or think a closet is a bathroom. Especially on a custom home the process seems painstakingly long!

I’ve had the pleasure of watching my grandmother work on several oil paintings while she was alive and watching a good friend paint several murals on mission’s trips. The process of just watching them get started on a new project is almost painful to watch. With my friend that does murals, she has to wait until she can see the size and feel of the room that she is going to be painting in. She often can’t tell us what it’s going to look like until she just starts working. I’ve watched her sketch and then stand back, then sketch more over a period of time, before she ever picks up a brush. She might have an ideal, but colors often are not finalized until she starts painting. Sometimes it changes from the original sketch, she has to create as she goes along. As much as we all enjoy watching her mural’s progress from day-to-day, we all really want to know what’s it going to look like when it’s done.

People don’t always appreciate a painting that is half done or a house that is half built. We want to see the big finish when all the final touches have been done. I heard Beth Moore last year talk about how none of us want the question mark (?) we have been given, we all think we just want the exclamation mark (!). We want the Ta-Da without all the mystery of what’s around the corner.

Do you ever have one of those days where you just start beating yourself up? You’re not where you thought you would be in your career. Your marriage isn’t what you thought it would be or at this point for whatever reason you are not married at all. Your kids aren’t making chooses that line up with who you thought they would be. Maybe you are going to church fairly regularly but it’s out of habit, not out of passion. You are not exercising as much as you know you should or maybe not being active at all.  Or do we justify why we are where we are at in life, yet judge others for where they are at?

I had the opportunity to see Mandisa in concert this spring. LOVE seeing her live-in concert, she has such a great energy. She has a song called Unfinished.  Here are some of the lyrics from that song:

I know His history
And the kind of God He is
He might make it a mystery
But He’s proving I can trust in Him
And yeah, I believe it

So I can pick myself back up
And keep on telling me
No, my God’s not done
Making me a masterpiece
No, my God’s not done

He started something good and I’m gonna believe it
He started something good and He’s gonna complete it
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished
I’m just unfinished
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through, no

He’s still working
Still, still working on me

The first time I heard that song I thought, wow, how powerful and true! We are looking at ourselves and we are looking at others, as though God is done with us. Instead of realizing we are all a work in process. Paul says in Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Then Paul approximately 10 years later, near the end of his life in 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Everyone I have talked to that has built a custom home, as much time as they took to design it, usually before it’s even done they are thinking of things they want to change or would have done differently. I’ve watched my gifted friend work through all the emotions of designing and painting murals. I have sat with her after she has put the finishing touches on some of these murals. Most of us are our own worse critics, so she always wants to point out things she’s not totally pleased with, but you can still see that sense of satisfaction that she has finished it.

Finished Mural

God knows we aren’t perfect, that we are going to need occasional pruning, correction and a whole lot of grace! We have to allow Him to keep working, put the brush in His hands!

I am unfinished! All the final touches have not been done yet. He is still working on me and He’s still working on you! I am looking forward to that day when my heavenly Father will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”


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