It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better...
...But it DOES Get Better!
Grandma used to say that... and it came up in a conversation today as well. No doubt YOU have had experiences that prove this saying to be true as well!
You might have said this very thing when learning a new skill, or trying out for a team sport that seems so easy for everyone else and so hard for you, or just looking at today's "to-do" list filled with chores.
There's that phase when it feels awkward, it seems messy or unorganized, and then... over time and bit by bit... it gets easier and you actually see progress!
And by the time you're done you look back and say, "That wasn't so bad after all!" It got better.
Jesus told his disciples this same thing on the night he was arrested. He let them know it would get pretty bad... but then it would get better. (See John 16:19-22). And it did! That's why we celebrate Easter!
The writer of Hebrews reminded Christians about this odd dynamic as we face discipline (training) and suffering. He said very plainly, "No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful." (See Hebrews 12:11) AMEN, right?!!
But it does get better! Maybe it's not the direct problem that goes away, but a beneficial by-product may be produced. Here's the rest of that verse: "Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."
No "magic answers" or "easy-buttons" are promised in the Christian life. And doing the right thing might actually make it worse. For a while. But God's promise is that our faith and obedience-- and a generous dose of God's grace-- move us from where we are to the benefits learned from the experience!
Keep moving forward!