Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Author and Finisher

Many people have begun writing a book, sometimes creating what they believe to be the "great American novel."  Few however, have actually finished one.  Totally, completely finished.

We have a friend who is a writer.  He has been a newspaper columnist for years, has written several short stories (one of which we make a point to read every Christmas) and he has written a novel.  It is a good novel, a very good novel -- I've read it.  Yet, he keeps tweaking and rewriting it.  You see, even though it was very good, it is not yet good enough for his standards.  Although it has been finished, it is not completely finished. . .yet.

I know how he feels.  In the summer of 1991 I had two babies.  One was a beautiful little girl weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces with black hair and dark blue eyes.  The other was made of paper and pictures.  While I carried the baby girl for 40 weeks, I worked on the book for a couple of years. 

I had started writing a manual for new obstetric nurses in my Labor & Delivery unit. A friend of mine and former colleague, Betty, who worked in the Education department of the hospital contacted the University of South Alabama to have them publish it. 

This was before the days of home computers, so I used a simple word processor and drew many of the pictures myself.  I slaved over the "galleys" -- the blue copies that are sent for proofreading and corrections.  Each time I thought I had the copy perfect, the next set of galleys would show errors, either on my part or the part of those creating the galleys.

Finally, after I was at home on maternity leave, Betty brought a present for our new little girl and she brought me a present as well. . .a couple copies of the finished product  -- our book. (Betty had been such a help to me, providing research, communicating with the publishing department of the University and doing the footwork for the final publication, I added her name to the byline as a courtesy and a testimony of our long friendship).  The project was finally finished.  Totally and completely finished.  Like our writer friend, I was never totally content with the quality of the work, but it was done, a book I could now hold in my hand.

There is another Author who is also the Finisher.  He will finish His work, but it will be absolutely, completely perfect. . .as is everything He has or will do.  If we are Christians, The Lord Jesus is actively working in our lives, through the Holy Spirit, to work out the eternal purpose of His Father.  And the goal of that purpose is very simple:

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." Romans 8:28.29

The Lord is working to conform us to the image of His Son, moment by moment, day by day,  and "we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord," (2Corinthians 3:18). That which the Lord has begun, we can be sure He will finish, His manuscript will be complete, there will be no errors in His finished work, no complaints from us or Him at the final reading.

 "Being confident of this very thing, 
that He which hath begun a good work in you 
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." 
Philippians 1:6  

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; 
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, 
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2 

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