Read Philippians 3:12-14
12 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. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (NLT)
Sometimes we figure that the journey towards Christian maturity is a bit like a turbocharged sprint. The mighty power of God is a surge which pushes us forward, striding through life, brushing aside trouble, our faces shining as we head towards the finishing line.
It is not usually like that. The Christian race is often much more of the three-legged variety. Running that sort of race is uncomfortable. We are likely to fall over repeatedly. We stumble often. But we get up and finally make it.
We might object that Christians have Jesus as their companion, not a mere human who is prone to stumble and fall. But our divine companion comes down to our level. Our perfect companion adapts to our imperfections. He binds himself to us in all our frailties. He does not stand over us as some imperious role model commanding us to do better. He draws alongside us as we are rather than waiting impatiently at the finishing line for us to become who he intends us to be.
He limps along with us when limping is all we can do. He assures us, as Paul does, that we will get there in the end. But there might well be a bit of limping along the way.