When I worked in an automotive plant, I worked for the Materials Department. Part of my job was to order enough W.I.P. bins to meet the needs of production in the plant. What's a W.I.P. bin you ask? It stands for Work In Progress. Raw material would come into the plant and get processed. Sometimes, when that part still required processing, it was put into these W.I.P. bins until it reached the final process of manufacturing.
I think I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am not perfect. This might come to a surprise to some of you, but sarcasm aside, I am a work in progress. I am being processed from what I once was to what God wants me to become. But what does God want me to become?
In Ephesians 5:1-2, Paul says to the church, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." He goes on to say later in the letter, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light" (Ephesians 5:9). See, we all start in this raw form which is our sinful nature. There is no one that is different in this world. (Romans 3:23) We all start off in the darkness of this world. Paul says to Titus, "For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another." (Titus 3:3)
However, when we accept Jesus Christ into our life, we enter into the W.I.P. bin of life. We become a work in progress.
But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:21-24)We constantly have to remember that the old life is dead and the new life is alive in us. We are going from our raw state of sin and being transformed by the Holy Spirit into a person of light, not by our own doing, but the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for us. We don't deserve to be light bearers, but God grants it to us despite what we have done or what we could do through grace.
The beauty of this W.I.P. bin of life is that we have a hope despite what happens in our life. Paul puts it to Titus like this:
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)What a joy of being a work in progress. We have an eternal hope. So why do bad things happen to good people? Why do we struggle? I believe that it is all a part of the process to become more like Christ. Good things happened to Jesus. He was worshipped as he rode a donkey into Jerusalem. Bad things happened to Jesus. He was beaten and bruised. But He still kept going because He saw the Father's purpose in it all ... and it was for us.
I don't know what you are struggling through today. However, realize that you're a work in progress when you have Christ in your life. That means that no matter what you are struggling with, keep going because there is hope. We get to spend an eternity with the Eternal God who loves us so much that He sent His only son to die for us.
So ... in my imperfection, I climb willfully into this W.I.P. bin called life and strive to be more like Christ despite the good, the bad and the ugly. I have hope!