“He’s Still Working On Me” used to be one of my little sister’s favorite songs from church. I can still hear her singing it in my mind, with her cute, mispronounced “r”.
He’s still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, He’s still working on me.
Sweet. Charming even. But the reality of being “worked on” (or “wucked on” on Ash would have said) can be entirely UNsweet. It can be utterly, absolutely, painful.
Towards the end of Mere Christianity, Lewis writes,
“…we must not be surprised if we are in for a rough time. When a man turns to Christ and seems to be getting on pretty well (in the sense that some of his bad habits are now corrected) he often feels that it would now be natural if things went fairly smoothly. When troubles come along- illnesses, money troubles, new kinds of temptations- he is disappointed. These things, he feels, might have been necessary to rouse him and make him repent in his bad old days; but why now? Because God is forcing him on, or up, to a higher level: putting him into situations where he will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than he ever dreamed of being before. It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of us.”
We can’t envision the final product any more than an egg can imagine being a chicken. We have a picture in our minds of what God will do with us, and it is not anywhere close to His design. To be changed into that thing, to be made Perfect as He promises He will do, we must go through incredible, supernatural transformation. Sometimes it hurts like the dickens. Beams must be cut, nails must go in, heavy bricks stacked one upon another. There is labor and sweat and blood in this construction. As Lewis says, we expected a little, decent cottage, but God is building a Palace– one He Himself will live in. In the end, we will be like Christ. How much work, indeed, to make ME like the perfect SON. We’ve got a looooong way to go. But He is patient, and He is loving, and He is tireless. He who has begun a good work in me, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
It might hurt sometimes… no, it WILL hurt sometimes. Definitely. And we rarely see the purpose of it, do we? But that’s okay. We’re in the hands of the master builder, and He is turning us into wondrous, flawless creations. The God of heaven and creation and the UNIVERSE, is leaned over our construction, fitting this piece with that, building something we can’t even FATHOM yet. Does that not just blow your mind? It does mine.
Anyway, just some thoughts for today. I can’t even scratch the surface of the incredible bits of wisdom and insight in Mere Christianity— I’d end up just posting the entire book. I cannot recommend it enough. I am learning so much, seeing so much about myself, and I have to say, it is humbling and revealing in some painful ways. I had no idea of the true, run-down state of my condition. How far away from a mansion I am…
But, like Ashley used to sing, He’s still working on me. What is unfit for a King right now, one day will be. It will be perfect, built to His specifications, and He will say, “This is my daughter, in whom I am well pleased”. Because it is He, Himself, who fashioned me.
What a glorious day that will be.