If It’s Not Fabulous, God’s Not Finished

If It’s Not Fabulous, God’s Not Finished

April 28, 2017

“… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

Devotion Graphic

“I’m gonna make something fabulous,” my daughter, Maggie, announced one rainy morning before heading to the basement in search of crafting supplies.

I peered over the pile of laundry I was folding and flashed my 8-year-old an encouraging smile. “Okay. I’ll be down to check on you soon.”

Later, when I walked down the stairs, I found my creative one sitting in the middle of an unruly mess. I couldn’t spy anything fabulous, but I could clearly see the giant jumble of paint splats and glue puddles, tape wads and paper scraps that framed my daughter’s workspace.

I sighed at the sight of the mayhem and assumed my daughter’s fabulous plans were falling short. I bent low to pick up a handful of plastic beads that were scattered across the floor like brightly colored dewdrops. Then, I tapped Maggie’s shoulder and asked, “How’s it going?”

I figured my girl would voice her discouragement and ask for help in cleaning up the disaster at hand. But, much to my surprise, she turned to me with a sparkle in her eyes and a streak of orange paint in her hair and declared, “It’s going great! I’m making a masterpiece.”

The wary raise of my eyebrows must have broadcast my doubt, because my daughter set down her paint brush and calmly held my gaze. She swept her hand across the daunting disarray and murmured these words of assurance: “Don’t worry, Mom. It’s not fabulous, ’cause I’m not finished.”

I let my daughter’s confident words echo through my mind, and suddenly, a lump of unexpected tears rose soundless in my throat. How many times has God whispered the same sentiment to my discouraged soul? “Don’t worry, daughter. It’s not fabulous, ‘cause I’m not finished.”

When my dreams lay in shreds or my best plans come unraveled, when my loved ones suffer or my heart aches heavy … could it be I’m not staring at a faulty finish but merely eyeing a messy middle? When our circumstances look more woeful than wonderful, might God still be at work?

The Bible declares God will make all things beautiful in their time (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and that He is working all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). But when life gets messy and hard, it’s easy to doubt these promises for ourselves.

However, I learned something about hope that day my daughter began her fabulous project. When I turned to leave Maggie in the middle of her mess, I heard her humming a happy tune while she worked. And suddenly, I realized what made her sing: Where I see pandemonium, my little artist spies possibility. Where I spy havoc, she sees hope.

And so it is with God. God views every mess as a masterpiece in the making.

When our faithful Father looks at our lives, He does not see the bedlam that is, but the beauty that will be. And like a little artist I know, our patient Maker will not stop mid-design or call it quits in the chaos. According to our key verse, He will finish the good work He’s started. God won’t give up until it’s glorious.

So next time it looks like the Lord’s best plans are falling short, let’s fix our eyes on our Maker instead of our mayhem. Let’s cling to His promises and stand firm on His faithfulness.

And, according to 8-year-old wisdom, if we’re struggling to see God’s handiwork in the havoc, we can rest assured of this: If it isn’t fabulous, God isn’t finished.

Dear God, please give me faith to trust You even when life feels messy. Give me eyes to see glimpses of the fabulous work You are doing in me and in the world around me. I want to stand on Your promises, not fall prey to fear and doubt. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 138:8, “The Eternal will finish what He started in me. Your faithful love, O Eternal One, lasts forever; do not give up on what Your hands have made.” (VOICE)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Is there someone in your life who inspires you to love God and love people? This Mother’s Day, we’re honoring the women — our mothers, our sisters, our mentors and friends — who have loved us for who we are and taught us to see with our hearts. Let her know how much she means to you with these special gifts.

CONNECT:
For more encouragement and a special giveaway for little artists, join Alicia Bruxvoort at her blog today.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What “mess” is causing you to doubt God’s goodness right now? Have a candid conversation with Jesus, and ask Him for faith to believe He’s creating beauty in the bedlam.

Who do you know that needs hope in their havoc? Take time to reach out this week with a word of encouragement, a biblical promise, a prayer.

© 2017 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. A great piece indeed! Yes we forget that God owns every situation and circumstance – thank you for the timely reminder!

  2. You started this Sunday School song playing in my heart, Alicia:
    He’s still working on me
    To make me what I need to be
    It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
    The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars
    How loving and patient He must be
    ‘Cause He’s still workin’ on me
    There really ought to be a sign upon my heart
    Don’t judge him yet, there’s an unfinished part
    But I’ll be better just according to His plan
    Fashioned by the Master’s loving hands

    • Amy Boyd says:

      I always look forward to seeing your response! I remember this song well from Sunday School. Thanks for bringing it to mind!

    • Marianne says:

      Shirlee,
      I always look forward to your Treasures of God’s wisdom. Our loving Father has made you a messenger for us. Thank you and please pray for my unspoken desire.

    • Shirlee,

      I too always love to see your encouraging words! I believe you are truly a prayer warrior. Please pray for my dear friend that is battling stomach cancer. Her surgery is May 1st.

      Thank you!

    • I have always loved that one, thanks for sharing

    • Janet R Cross says:

      Shirlee, I love that song. It’s one I sang to my children. Thanks for starting my day with a sweet memory.

    • My daughter, who is now 36, started singing that song in church when she was two!! She now leads worship at her church. Wonderful memories!

    • LOVE this song, Shirlee. Now it’s running through my head, too–perfect lines with which to align my steps today. Always thankful to “meet with you” here.

  3. Barb Tallent says:

    Thank you for this very timely, wise, encouraging advice! God is using this message to pick me up from a very messy issue in my 31+year marriage and a situation I am praying for in my brothers life: he has 11 children and needs a new job and home.

  4. Beautiful words! Beautiful encouragement! Daily I remind myself that I’m a work in progress. I used to get so angry and mad at myself when I messed up, but now I realize that I’m human and God knows that I am flesh and he forgives. “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14 I love the scripture you quoted, as it is the story of my life. God is putting back all the pieces of brokenness in my life one by one. I am His masterpiece and He’s just not finished with me! I love the connection of your story with your daughters master piece in progress. Each day I wake up and look in the mirror and say “this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. His mercies are new every morning.” What a wonderful and beautiful promises to us. He loves us unconditionally.

  5. I, too, had tears in my eyes as I read this devotion this morning. This is exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. Thank you!

  6. This brought tears to my eyes! Tears at the thought of what it is going to be when He is finished!! FABULOUS!! Thank you for the reminder that He is not finished yet and renewing the hope of what it will be like finished.

  7. Betty Randolph says:

    I needed to have this thought for today. You see my husband was protected from having a massive heart attack , by our Loving God. He has so many unfinished projects from when he was to sick to do them, I was getting frustrated, now realizes its ok. You see my husband is still here to do them now that he is better. He had 90%blockages in three veins in his heart. I thank my Father everyday for let him survive this. It has given both of us a new perception of what is important.

  8. God has been speaking straight to my heart with all of the devotions this week. I am 31 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby and we are also in the sheet rock stage of building our first home. While these are both HUGE blessings I have found myself caught up in the stress and the few things that aren’t going right rather than the many things going perfectly. Today I will cling to this truth. It’s not fabulous YET because God isn’t done YET.

  9. Michelle says:

    Man this one moved me to tears this morning. I can’t even begin to explain it. My exact feelings of the doubt and being so unsure of life and things. But kids definitely have a way of piecing words together that make light bulbs go off! My heart is overflowing and tears running from my eyes because even when I feel forgotten God isn’t done with me yet. My journey has been long and and unsure but I’m hanging in because I know it’s something great in store. Thank you for the encouragement.God Bless!

  10. Just what I needed to hear today! And I am going to jot those scriptures down to remind me of this. Thank-you so much for sharing these words of encouragement.

  11. Margaret says:

    Thank you for this beautiful devotion today. Once again God sends the perfect encouragement I need at the perfect time. God bless your ministry.
    Life has been difficult, praise God He is not finished with me yet. He is refining me so His beautiful Spirit can be reflected in me if I keep my eyes and focus on Him.

  12. What a perfectly timed devotion God knows what I needed to hear. Thanks you for your encouragement..

  13. Victoria says:

    Thank you for this perfectly timed Word. He is always faithful beyond my understanding and He touched my heart today through your devotional. I am in a short (I hope!) season of heaviness and feeling like a mess all the time. I can’t even type without starting to cry. It’s cause He’s not finished yet. God bless!

  14. My heart is heavy with the pain of so many I know:friends with cancer, a husband walking away from a long marriage, a young mother with stillborn twins. As I pray for them and read this devotion, I am reminded we are not guaranteed things will be fabulous here, on this side of eternity. Some things will not be resolved in our time on earth. I know God comforts us and is ultimately
    working these things out, but I think sometimes that’s only when we take the long view, the eternal perspective, where there will no more crying. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

    • You are so right Lisa! Some things truly may not be resolved here on earth but we sure are glad we know there’s a place being prepared for every believer where all of the struggles, pains and challenges we may have had to deal with this side of eternity would fade into oblivion and pale in comparison to what God’s prepared for us…I remind myself of this truth (or rather I would say I try to)…when things gets so challenging and I begin to loose perspective of where God is in all that’s around me….

    • Lisa, you are SO RIGHT! God’s painting His story on an eternal canvas. May we have faith to trust Him with the BIG picture and hearts that cling to His promises with unabashed hope.

  15. Thank you for this devotion. As I wait for a breast biopsy and the uncertainty that goes along this message reminded me that God is ever present and is working in my life to create a better me. I must remain faithful and not fall into fear. Thank you

    • Beverly, I’m praying for you right now.. asking Jesus to be your peace and to hold you near as you walk this road of uncertainty.Boldly asking for physical health and healing for you, too. May His presence be your SURE THING in the days to come.

  16. Shirley Stallworth says:

    What a wonderful lesson you were privileged to learn from your precious daughter and the wisdom you have acquired on your Christian journey to recognise a gift from heaven when it is presented to you

  17. Thank you for your encouraging words today. Just what I needed to hear. Praise God he isn’t finished yet.

  18. How beautiful, thank you for the sweet reassuring visual & message.
    Touched my heart this morning with joy & thanksgiving!

  19. Lisa Pickett says:

    I am going through a terrible divorce and my husband walked out and has been having an affair with married woman.Proverbs 31 helps me every day.God Bless

  20. “…could it be I’m not staring at a faulty finish but merely eyeing a messy middle?”
    Great encouragement to persevere! Thanks!

  21. jimmee balough says:

    no man or woman could say it better. LiCJ, mee

  22. Love this! What a great confirmation through the Lord not to be discouraged but be reminded we are all in the midst of our journey and his plan for us.
    God Bless

  23. After reading and reflecting on this post, I am lead to utter only three words……WOW!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!

  24. Alicia – thank you for the gift of encouragement and the way you share God’s truths to us. I am blessed to be reminded of this fact that God is not finished with us yet – our walk with God is continually evolving and He is bringing us closer to Him so we can reflect Him. You have shared this beautiful truth with us today and I am grateful – thank you!

  25. Such a good reminder. Patience to wait on the Lord….and joy to be willing. Bless you.

  26. Thank you for this devotional. Tears for me too. Once again, God has used your ministry to speak to me where I am in my thoughts. I see a mess, but God isn’t finished yet. He is going to complete and perfect what He started, and when He is finished it will be beautiful. I need to pray, and trust He is working all things out for good.

  27. Alicia thank you for this very touching devotional. It was a heart moment for me. I was interested in knowing more about you so I logged onto your website and read your bio. I noticed that one of your favourite books is the Shack. I am wondering why? I studied that book with a group of women from our church and came away with a totally different opinion. I found it to be disrespectful to The Trinity and I actually distroyed the book.

  28. Good devotion! I am reminded although if I feel a mess or outside chaos going on is a mess. To ask myself 3 simple questions: 1.) Is God Good? 2.) Is God good to me? 3.) Is God good at being God? All of my answers remain yes, so therefore I am confident and can walk in holy boldneas and in God truth from His Holy Word that He’s still creating beauty in me.

  29. Thank you for your words today. I have been struggling with feeling very much “in the middle”…..ready to move to another ministry, yet not sure yet where God wants me. Instead of the worry, I’ll focus on the excitement of what’s to come! God bless you

  30. Jeanne Turk, Vince's Mom says:

    Oh Alicia, what a wonderful reminder! Thanks, and may the Lord continue to use you for His glory as you speak and write words of truth from His Word!

  31. Teresa Turner says:

    This makes me think of the new song by Mandisa, “Unfinished.” Our lives are works-in-progress.

  32. I really enjoyed this reading this morning .Just what I needed .

  33. One of the loveliest devotions I’ve read in a long time. I thank God for giving you these words for us today.

  34. Oh how I love this!! Thank you. ❤️

  35. Bridget M. says:

    Thank you for this beautiful devotional. I have had moments similar to this where those in my life, including the most precious, young souls, have said something that resonates so deeply within me. I too teared up at your little Maggie’s words. God speaks to us all the time in many different ways – we need only to keep our hearts and ears open to hearing Him.

  36. Great words of encouragement in this devotion today. Thank you Alicia ….. God bless you and your ministry.

  37. Melinda Miles says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this spirit filled message. Something I definitely needed at this time. I find myself after 33 years of marriage ending with a divorce, struggling to find my place. The moments of doubt, loneliness & despair seem to envelope me. I’m striving to believe that God has a fabulous plan for me, it’s just feeling the emptiness and moving forward physically alone. Your words encouraged me to accept & believe that I’m still in the molding process and safely in His loving care. Thank you…May you be blessed as you bless others!

    • It is well

    • Melinda I to have a marriage of 33 years ending in divorce. I also struggle with finding my place, and the loneliness. I keep praying that God does have a plan and I just need to wait. The other day all the way to my lawyers office, I just kept saying I trust in you God and I trust the lawyer. I was totally blindsided by husband with this divorce. I struggle with letting go. We haven’t talked for 5 months. It seems he blames me for it all. I know I am not perfect but no one is. I will keep you in my prayers as we travel this same journey,

  38. Thank you very much for the words of encouragement I will keep waiting upon the Lord..

  39. Oh, my!! How I relate to this!! My middle daughter (who is now mommy to three littles) could easily fill the spot on the floor that Maggie was in!! And her three littles (well, two of the three are old enough–5 and 3–to support this statement, but I’m sure the baby will join in when old enough!) are following in her footsteps! The life lesson from this is devotional is amazing! Thank you so much!

  40. Thank you! I needed to read this today! I will be sharing this as a devotion in the future. Blessings!

  41. Love this sweet message of encouraging words.

  42. Katherine says:

    I’m in a very messy middle and sooo needed these encouraging words today. Thank you for blessing me.

  43. This devotion was so encouraging and spoke right to my heart! Thank you for sharing!

  44. Thank you, thank you, for this devotional today! In the midst of battling cancer, God is providing help, but I truly needed your reminder today to look ahead with hope that God is still working on my behalf.

  45. We are in the midst of yet another medical crisis. For the past four months my husband has experienced major cardiac events. Today we await further evaluations and recommendations.
    This is just the perfect devotional! I am reminded that God is not finished with this story. We are marriage mentors. God has given us so many wonderful opportunities to share with the mostly young medical staff, words of marriage wisdom. That alone is worth everything. Thank you Alicia!

  46. This is so well put, Alicia! Brought to life for me by your use of alliteration. Wonderfully written. And I, too, am blessed with kids who make “happy messes,” as our family calls them. God sees me as His masterpiece, and at times I am a happy mess as well.

  47. Thank you! I needed that. Such a wonderful reminder.

  48. Thank you for this beautifully written encouragement! 💗

  49. A beautiful reminder of Gods promise through His word. I sometimes marvel at how wonderfully the message you ladies prepare lends itself to the perfect scripture verse to sum it all up. That’s the true beauty of the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us!!

    As I was reading and gathering my thoughts the song in my head it this….Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of life will grow strangely dim In the light of His glory and grace.

  50. Linda Mae Green says:

    Dear Lord, thank you for this sweet lady and her wonderful words of encouragement! Please hear my prayer of thankfulness for all the years of blessings and overcoming and encouragement you have given us over the years. Forgive me my doubts and fears in this season of my life that the happenings have left me reeling instead of trusting and hanging on to you. Let me unfocused from myself and look to see that person who needs my encouragement and help no matter if it is only a small thing I can do. I love you! In Jesus name, Amen

  51. Sally Ann Price says:

    This is a great devotional! Have a great weekend!

  52. God is so sweet, the message that is all around me right now me is to hold on, because he isn’t finish and to continue to run with perseverance and to keep my eyes on him only. So I’m loving seeing this sweet message and reminder from God through you today that continues to line up with everything God is speaking to my heart right now.

    My husband has 1 chemo left in a week and then will start radiation. He hasnt failed us 1 step of the way, not that he has changed our circumstances, but instead he has changed my heart so much and filled us all with joy and peace that can only come from him during this trial. But praise the Lord my husband has had a clean scan just needs to finish out strong, but we are all exhausted in different ways and as we finish the fear of ever having to do this again seeps in. That’s where God continues to remind me to keep my eyes on him, because when I don’t that is when the fear comes. But what I love is we know he is in this waiting with us, I just need to hold on and trust he is never failing. We have got to see God so much in this journey and I know I can trust his plan and timing. Thank you for this message.

  53. Susan G. says:

    Thanks for this great (and biblical) perspective!
    I needed this today and I will try to remember this every day!
    Blessings!

  54. Carolyn R says:

    Thank you, Alicia. I got that tell-tale lump in my throat too. Thanks for the reminder of how much our heavenly Father loves us and how Faithful and Trustworthy He is.

  55. Thank you so much for the gentle reminder and glimpse of hope I so needed. This is timely and encouraging. Praying these specific prayers….

  56. Priscilla Simon says:

    Thankyou so much for this beautiful message. It really touched me..God bless your ministry!

  57. My mess is waiting for God to move in my life. It seems I have been waiting forever. My life is a repeat of the same thing over and over again. Home, work, church. Sometimes I wonder if I have done something wrong. I am sure there are things I should be doing but I’m not sure what. I am in my sixties and I get discouraged. Is this all there is? I’m not really sure what to look for.

  58. Lynn Mullins says:

    I have a 21-year-old daughter who is an artist, and her life is a bit of a mess, and this gave me hope. This is a keeper that I will print and read over again and pray over for my daughter. Thanks!

  59. This comes perfectly timed for me…even reading it on Saturday. We had a major upset in life yesterday and it’s easy for me to instantly think the worst, but God reminded me this morning that all men fall and to wait on the Lord.

    The story is not over yet. 💛

  60. Tina Green says:

    Thank you so very much for this ENCOURAGING nugget, it was well displayed and my heart could resinat with this
    God Bless

  61. This was absolutely incredible. Thank you:)

  62. Debbie W. says:

    ❤️

  63. I needed to read this. I needed to embrace this truth. I printed it out and will carry it around in my bag for those messy days I’m feeling discouraged, I can be reminded that God isn’t finished with my Fabulousness yet! Thank you for having the eyes and ears and mind of Christ to look past a little girl’s practical response to a seemingly messy kid moment, and seeing God in the middle of it that led you to write this powerful devotion and share it to bless others.
    Love it!
    k~

  64. Thjs devotion, posted a few days ago, is just what I needed. I’m in the middle of a mess and I don’t know exactly how it will all end. God opened an amazing door of career opportunity in my life this past February. Recently, due to a myriad of reasons, I’m not sure where rhis trajectory is leading me. However, as you mentioned, He’s not finished with me or my circumstanc. Thanks, Alicia.

  65. This was such a blessing to me! Thank you for sharing!

  66. Such an incredibly beautiful message! Your daughter is wise beyond her years and I pray she clings to that truth despite the world’s assaults and insults. Blessings!

  67. Praise God!!!! For He used an 8 year to “teach”. This read was an absolute Blessing for me thank you for sharing. Peace & Blessings to all.

  68. Lisa, thank you for these additional verses. I always enjoy your specific responses!

  69. Thank you, for your encouragement, support and view, rememerence. I know God is not finished with me. Creator is always ahead of me n shows me the way.

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