US. Highway 98 is still under construction in the Destin-Miramar Beach area of the Florida Panhandle. I moved to this area in March 2018 after the construction started. Much of the construction is completed, but there is a long portion that is still under construction. When will it end? That is what I ask myself whenever I drive on 98.
I remembered this forever construction project when I read in my Bible, “being confident of this that [God] who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” I am still under construction too. I realized that this recently when my wife and I were having a conversation. She had to tell me to stop preaching to her. I was passionately tried to make a point, but the offensive tone of my voice made her feel like I was talking AT her instead of WITH her. She confronted me about my tone, and I apologized to her. Yes, I am still under construction. I admit that being aware of my ‘under construction’ status is discouraging at times. This status does not pertain to my physical maturation. It concerns the more difficult interior design work: attitudes, mindset, faith, love, communication skills, tone of voice, and faithfulness in participating in the spread of the good news of Jesus Christ.
The under-construction status means that God is present and working on our behalf. He began a good work in the lives of Paul’s friends who lived in the ancient city of Philippi, a Roman colony in Macedonia, a region now in modern Greece. God began the good work in these friends. They demonstrated faithful allegiance to Christ and the good news of his death and resurrection for the salvation of all peoples. Paul was confident that God was present and active in their lives. God is near us too and working to transform us for our better and God’s honor.
God will carry the good work to its completion. The road construction improvements are supposed to be completed this year. What a relief that will be. What relief and delight my wife and I felt when we obtained our certificate of occupancy in August 2018 and moved into our new house. How did you feel when you completed a good project? Hopefully, happiness book-ended the good work at its beginning and its end. Likewise, we trust God to complete the good work in us. We believe God is faithful, dependable, and good. He will finish the job. Thinking about a job you completed, remember your relief, joy, and happiness. Celebrate it again with gratitude.
God’s good work has an ending date. We are tired of the road construction on 98, but the end is in sight. God gives us an ending date for the good work begun in us—‘the day of Christ Jesus.’ This refers to Christ’s promise to come back when God’s work is completed. God knows the date, but it is a mystery to me. I cannot tell you the date when our ‘under-construction’ status will end. I do know it is one of two days: the day we die and join Christ in heaven, or the day Christ fulfills his promise to come back. These are the two possible dates.
Until God completes his good work in us, we will want to be humble, patient, and cooperative. We want to be humble because we do not always understand God’s intentions or purposes for our circumstances. When I enter Boston Logan airport, I need humility, because I do not understand or appreciate the continual construction at the airport. Humility means I stop thinking everything is supposed to revolve around my interests and time frame.
Closely related to humility is patience. That ‘conversation’ I thought I was having with my wife reminded me that I still fall short in my communication skills. I tell others, “I am sorry,” and “Please be patient with me because God is not finished with me yet.” Likewise, I need patience to let people same to say the same things to me. God is still redesigning their interior. Patience helps all of us.
Cooperation is possible when we are humble and patient. We choose to align ourselves with God and His construction projects. We choose to cooperate. In doing so, God moves us in the direction of better, as people and as God’s partners in the good work in this world until the day of Christ. We are still under construction.
 Philippians 1:6 (NIV).