Read 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. (NRSV)
This is one of the more encouraging passages in the entire Bible. It seems the Spirit of God is at work changing us to become more and more like Jesus which is our proper human destiny. He takes the veil of misunderstanding away so we can grasp the truth and have it transform us.
So far so good. However, that little phrase “are being transformed” explains why it is that we struggle so much and can actually be discouraged by such texts. The fact is, change is an ongoing process not a sudden event. We resist the change, the change doesn’t come in the way we expected, or it seems to take so much time.
Those of us who have experienced home renovations can understand something of this. There is much noise, mess, discomfort, and expense involved in changing where we live. At times we wonder if it is all worth it. We want it to be over. We worry about certain things that are happening unexpectedly. But we concede that this is what we signed up for, and the end result will be worth it.
So it is for followers of Jesus. We didn’t sign up for an easy ride, we signed up to be changed. And if our lives sometimes feel like an unfinished worksite, that is because that is what we are.