There’s something great about mowing a yard or painting a wall, where there is a distinct “before” and an “after.” It gives me great pleasure to see how much I accomplished when there’s a beginning and an end, a measurable way to see what happened and the progress that I made.
Unfortunately our Christian walk is rather difficult to “measure” at times. Oh, there can be some big obvious changes that occur of how we were before Jesus versus afterwards. But on a day-to-day basis, especially after walking with the Lord for many years, it’s a little more difficult to see growth sometimes.
When I was a teacher, many people had said to me, “You won’t ever really know how much effect you had on students because the results don’t appear until years later.” I believe this is also true in learning to walk with God. “Learning” is a process and takes time. It also looks different for each person, so we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others.
Our walk with the Lord is a work in progress and is comprised of many things. We’re learning to know Him (Phil. 3:10) hear Him (Jn.10:27), obey Him (Josh.1:7,8), represent Him on this earth (1 Pet. 2:21). In Micah 6:8, the Lord says we are to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God.” And Romans 8:14 declares —“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m not able to do and be all of these things every single day! Some days I’m very kind, have the right attitude, am patient and gentle — all those fruits of the Spirit — and other days I can’t seem to stop complaining and judging people. Why? Because walking with God, becoming like Jesus, is a life-long process. Little by little, bit by bit, we are being changed into His image. (2 Cor. 3:18)
What I try to do is look at the big picture and see where I’ve been and where I am now. Daily measurements can be difficult to gauge. Life isn’t a straight line, so I try not to be too hard on myself and have more empathy with others on their journey. It’s not as simple as painting a wall and “tah-dah” it’s finished! Yes, those little tasks are satisfying, no doubt, but keep moving forward, keep taking steps, and there will be progress in your walk with the Lord.