Renovations. Remodels. Restorations. Watch HGTV for very long, and you'll stumble across more than a handful of programs focusing on turning what you have into what you want. These shows specialize in showing the transformation of homes from trashed to terrific. From horrible to holy-cow-that's-amazing. All in less than half an hour.
In reality, the process takes weeks...but ruthless editing whittles months down to minutes. This makes for good television of course, but it ultimately leaves you and me with an incredibly unrealistic picture of what radical transformation and lasting change truly requires.
Whether it's your house or your heart...your mobile home or your marriage...your car or your kids...renovations don't often come instantly. In the real world, the messiness of miracles can't be left on the cutting room floor. Life is not a TV show, meaning we have to live--in real-time--through every last trial and struggle and setback. The boring stuff. The difficult stuff. The seemingly impossible stuff.
Jesus promises us he has overcome the problems of this world. He has promised to meet our needs, give us rest, and provide hope and a future. But, if you look closely, none of those promises has a timeline attached to them. We're not offered a resolution to our problems today or tomorrow or next week. We're not guaranteed that our situation will come to a pleasant end before the commercial break. We're simply promised that God is in control.
As much as we don't like it sometimes, faith requires the unknown. If we knew when the many promises of God would be fulfilled, it wouldn't be called faith...it would just be called patience.