From Start to Finish | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
August 2014

From Start to Finish

By: Alyssa Gillespie

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:4-6

I have to admit something. From time to time I can become very impatient. I know I am not alone in this. Surely some of you succumb to the frustration that things don’t always happen as quickly as you would like. It’s funny though because impatience only creeps up on me in certain situations. It doesn’t bother me to stand in line at the store, and I can handle a little bit of traffic here and there. I understand when my phone calls and emails are not responded to within the hour or within the day. But there are other situations where time seems to drag on forever without any progress, answers, or resolution, and I can feel the patience drain from me.

This is particularly true when I am standing outside in the midst of a hot, Alabama summer waiting for my dogs to take care of their business. Don’t they know hot it is and that I have things to do? And don’t get me started about how I feel when the food I order at a restaurant takes longer than I think it should to get to my table. Either you are nodding your head in agreement right now, or you have already mastered the art of patience.

I know these things are superficial. I try my best to remember that time doesn’t revolve around me - to relax and enjoy the moment. The one thing that really gets me though, the thing that I really struggle with, is having patience as I figure out where my life is headed. As a 20-something, I know that there is a lot ahead of me in terms of figuring out who I’m going to be and what I will be doing in the future. But the specifics of that direction are vague. Sometimes it is difficult to be patient as I work towards a future that I don’t fully understand yet. In the moments when my patience is all but gone, I begin to question if I will ever have my life in order or feel like I am on the right track.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul reminds them that what God will complete what has been started in their midst. With Paul imprisoned and the people of Philippi working to continue the ministry of God on their own, this reminder probably helped the Philippians to stay strong, keep working, and be patient that things would work out in the end.

Those words that Paul shared with the Philippians are words that encourage me on my journey. Those words remind me to be patient with what God is doing in my life, and to remember that God will not leave my life unfinished. God has started something in each one of us. Be patient, trust God, and enjoy the journey. You will not be left unfinished.

See more devotions from Alyssa and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself, at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.