Sometimes it’s very frustrating. I look at myself, see my faults, and think to myself, “I thought I’d be better at this by now.” I look at myself and start judging. I thought I’d have a better temper by now. I thought I’d be better at speaking my mind and standing up for what I believe in. I thought I’d have a little more resolve to do what I say I want to accomplish. I thought I’d be able to be more kind and compassionate with my younger siblings.
“Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying: My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure…” Isaiah 46:10
Let’s focus on the “declaring the end from the beginning” part. This concept always held me captive by my misunderstanding. I’ve always wondered, what does that actually mean?
I finally figured out what God “declaring the end from the beginning” in my life actually means from my beat up old Jeep.
As a graduation present, my parents bought me a 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. It was love at first sight. A great white beauty, full of class and sass, it was more than I could’ve ever imagined and much more than I expected when I heard from some siblings there was a surprise in store for me.
When I hopped in the car, the old rust bucket barely sputtered to life, and the engine with 300,000 miles on it drove at 5mph TOPS down the driveway and round the cul-de-sac. The back panels were rusted through, there were a myriad of creepy crawlers living in it, the lights didn’t work, the back window was unreliable, and the tires and brakes were completely shot. The A/C worked great, though. #priorities, right? This is South Florida, after all.
But when I first saw it, I looked at it through the lens of what it COULD be. What it WOULD be, someday.
My dad and I, along with our dear friend Jason Hedegard, worked for a year to replace the old engine with a completely new, rebuilt, sandblasted, cerecoated, repainted, clean and shiny engine. We bought “donor vehicles” off of craigslist for cheap, and took them apart to restore mine. It was cheaper than buying each part and having them shipped individually from all over. It’s been quite the project, and it’s still not 100%.
But when I look at my swaggy waggy, all I can see is how God sees us. He buys us (with the blood of Jesus) as rotting out, broken down rust buckets, just because He fell in love with us. Every day when He looks at us, He sees us as the fully-restored finished project, the gleaming, shiny beauty that’s rolling high on four clean white-wall tires.
But from our viewpoint, we’re totally not finished. And that’s what we see. We see our failures, our faults and our vices. We see the rust, we condemn our mileage, we focus on the things we can’t fix ourselves.
We need Christ, our Ultimate Mechanic, to fix all the things under the hood (in our minds especially) for us. We’re just the car; the vessel that Christ wants to use to bring Him glory. It’s always going to be a work in progress, just like my Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Christ actually takes pride in the “work-in-progress-ness” of it all. He made us this way.
So when God says He declares the end from the beginning, He looks at you through the eyes of someone who loves you SO MUCH He sees what you’ll look like when it’s all said and done. He sees what you’ll look like when all the repairs have been made, when every rusty bolt has been replaced and renewed by His love. He sees the finished version of you. After all, He finished the work of paying for your sins at the Cross, unleashing your to become a fully restored and renovated vehicle. The bones and framework were all there when He bought you, even though your engine was worthless and you needed a reboot, a clean out, a fresh start.
Now it’s just up to you to let Him start the renovating work.