It’s been a long season of transition for me. As I felt like I was experiencing my emotions incorrectly during this season, I felt like I wasn’t being faithful enough. I felt guilty. “Lord, why don’t I trust you?” I wondered. “Why am I afraid? Why am I struggling to fall asleep? I’m sorry.”

Sometimes, I think we imagine God as being upset with our every stumble, our every blemish. This viewpoint neglects to see the way God has revealed Himself to us. In Philippians 1:6, Paul reminds us that God has started a good work in us and He will finish it to completion on the coming of Christ Jesus. That means we are God’s holy work. Do you know what kind of worker God is?

God describes himself as a potter and as a gardener. Gardeners often enjoy tending to their garden as flowers bloom. Artists love getting entangled with the details of their masterpieces. In my quiet time, it was the first time that it truly dawned on me that God enjoys the process of our growth and sanctification. He’s deeply invested in it. He is doing it. We don’t take this path alone, He is by our side. 

Since that morning, I imagine God rejoicing every time I become a little more like Jesus. A little more trusting. A little more wise. A little more obedient. He’s making me into those things. He is the potter; I am the clay. He is the gardener; I am the garden. And when I mess up, Jesus is the bridegroom that washes every blemish away. 

In that day— “Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. I am not angry.”

Isaiah 27:2-4a

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Ephesians 5:25-27