October 16, 2020
It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage
by A.C. Williams
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. -Philippians 3:12 NLT
My car has some issues, and rightfully so. It’s a 2012 Malibu with 181,000 miles (I bought it with 12,000, so you can do the math). I drive a lot because I’m from Kansas and flying anywhere is too expensive.
The brakes squeal. The tires wobble. The trunk has a rather impressive dent in it from where I backed into a mulberry tree one winter.
My car needs some work, but it gets me where I need to go. It does what it was designed to do, even though it’s a little rough around the edges.
I get so frustrated with myself because I still have so much to learn about following Jesus. You’d think that after 30 years, I’d have this Christian thing figured out a little better, right?
But no. I still do the things I don’t want to do, and I don’t do the things I know are right. I didn’t understand what Paul meant in Romans 7:15-20 until I got old enough to start living it.
What I need to remember (what we all need to remember) is that sanctification is a process. Sure “getting saved” is instant, immediate, complete, but that doesn’t mean we lose our sin nature. That doesn’t mean we aren’t going to fight with the baggage we were carrying before we came to Him.
Following Jesus will change us from the inside out, but oftentimes it takes a lifetime. For performance-driven perfectionists like me, that can be disheartening. I want to be like Jesus now. But that’s not how it works.
If He did that, my life would be about me, and what I can accomplish. Instead, He lets me struggle through daily impossible tasks that I can only conquer with His strength. He lets me face heart-wrenching choices that drive me to my knees because I’m too weak to stand without Him. He breaks my heart for the people I love because I know there is nothing I can do to help them.
And through it all, He is faithful, because my life isn’t about what I can accomplish for Him. My life is about what He can accomplish through me.
God doesn’t use perfect people. Rather, His power is made perfect in those of us who are weak (2 Corinthians 12:9). I’m rough around the edges. I’ve got a lot of miles on my soul. My joints don’t creak yet, but my knees do sound like bubble wrap when I go down a flight of stairs.
It’s right and good that I invest time and resources to become a healthier version of myself, to grow closer to God, to know Him better. But just because I need some work doesn’t mean He can’t use me right now. I can still do what He created me to do. I can still fulfill His purpose in my life while I have broken pieces.
The road might be a little rough in spots, but with His strength, I can still get where I need to go.
Don’t wait to be perfect before you choose to follow Him. Don’t wait to be in good repair before you do what He’s calling you to do. You’re weak right now. So what? God can work.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: A.C. Williams is a coffee-drinking, sushi-eating, story-telling nerd who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if isn’t, her socks will never match. She likes her road trips with rock music, her superheroes with snark, and her blankets extra fuzzy, but her first love is stories and the authors who are passionate about telling them. Learn more about her book coaching services and follow her adventures on social media @free2bfearless or on her website, www.amycwilliams.com.
Join the conversation: When has God accomplished something through your weakness?