Remember, Self, that just because you haven’t completely learned how to live in this new habit – this new raiment – just yet, doesn’t mean you aren’t learning, bit by bit, to live newly. Yes, it’s awfully easy to get discouraged when it seems like you aren’t living any better today than you were yesterday. It’s awfully easy, I know, to get wrapped up in all the disremembering, because this world we live in tends to focus on what isn’t right instead of what is. Instead of Who is.
So what if you haven’t arrived yet. Of course you haven’t. You aren’t Home yet. How can you possibly have arrived when you’re still drawing breath here? Quit being so hard on yourself. The truth is this: the harder you are on yourself, the further away from living newly you actually are. You cannot live newly by the power of your will or the muster of your ambition. You cannot get low, Self, when you are lashing yourself with the whip of will-worship. You cannot follow His lead when you are constantly trying to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. You cannot rest in His Presence when you are striving with both hands flailing in the air.
Have some patience with yourself. He told us, all those years ago, to love our neighbor the same way we love ourselves. So love yourself well, Self. Love yourself with that same grace, that same mercy, that same gentleness, that same acceptance that you know you ought to give to the folks around you. It takes time to learn who He has made you into. It takes time to excise those lies from hell that you’ve so long thought were true. An oak with roots stretched wide and deep into the fertile soil of this middling ground doesn’t grow overnight. Roots that run deep come from years that run long. He won’t stop growing out those roots until He is finished, and you’ll know He is finished when you wake up There instead of here. Until then, Self – until There – be patient with yourself. He is leading you Home, ever and always. You will get Where you are going. He knows the way, and not once has He ever lost it.
I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 1:6, HCSB