Earlier this week my wife and I got away for a couple of nights to beautiful Mackinac Island. The purpose of the trip was to finally celebrate our 23rd Anniversary which took place back in August. By the time we finally left for the island, we had another reason to go.
I needed a break from things.
We all need a break from time to time. Work pressure, things that need to get done around the house, personality conflicts, etc… They all pull and drain us and we need to be able to get away from them and recharge. After all, nothing good can come from being hammered all the time, right?
On our walk around the island, we made the trek up to Arch Rock. For those who have never been to Mackinac Island, Arch Rock is a natural limestone formation caused by water run-off and crashing waves. The limestone is porous and soft in comparison to other types of rock, and water is able to cut into it. In the case of Arch Rock, the stone that fell away left the arch pictured below.
The rock has been a focal point of the island for almost 200 years, and was one of the reasons that much of the island was preserved as a state and then national park. It has been revered by Native Americans as a spiritual portal, has been the backdrop for countless pictures, and the site of a number of proposals. I have never been there and not observed at least a half dozen people climbing the stairs to take a picture!
You can read more about Arch Rock here if you are interested.
After returning to work and stepping back into a stressful situation, I wished I could go back to the island where peace seemed to reign. I thought about Arch Rock, the beauty of it, and how that location was peaceful and majestic.
But it wasn’t always that way. The rock has endured years of being battered by the environment. It has weathered storms. It has been undermined. It has cracked and pieces of it have fallen away. All of this has happened over time, and that time has brought about what we now see.
The same types of things happen to me. I get undermined. I get beat up by what seem to be unrelenting forces. Cracks form in me, and sometimes parts of me that I feel important end up falling away or are taken from me. I feel hard, haggard, and like I will inevitably fall.
But that is not how I need to live.
Just like Arch Rock endured much in order to become one of the top selfie spots on Mackinac Island, I am enduring to become what God wants me to be. The transition is hard, and there are times I want to get away from it, but at the end of the day, I know that God will complete His work in me, and despite what I see in the mirror in the morning, it will be a beautiful work.
Relentless Living requires me to remember that I am not on my timetable. Peter tells us:
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. – 2 Peter 3:8
Time is not a barrier that God sees because to Him it is not something He needs to worry about. Everything works out in His time for His pleasures and even if it takes a thousand years, He will see His plan come to fruition. He has promised to do a good work in me, and He has promised to complete it!
I might feel battered, wet, worn, and falling apart, but God is not done. He is working, and He uses His Word to both refine me and to encourage me in the process.
Hang in there. Beauty takes time!