I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead!

I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. (Philippians 3:10-14)

One of the early signs of spring in our area is the blooming of Bradford Pear trees. Our neighborhood is spotted with them. Many streets are lined with them. It is not uncommon to see shopping malls outlined with Bradford Pear trees like the walls of a fortress. Although they smell somewhat unpleasant, their almost symmetrical shape against a clear blue sky, or a dreary overcast day is one of the beautiful reminders that winter is over.

Not long ago as I turned the corner of one of our busy streets I noticed that after the street has been widened they had planted Bradford Pears all along the street for a considerable distance. Though these new additions to the scenery are far from full grown, they nevertheless appear to be glowing when their blooms are white in the early days of spring. As I admired the young trees in the foreground I could see several full-grown models in the background. I thought that as beautiful as these young trees are they are not yet what it will be.

These young Bradford Pears remind me of other images that are not yet what they will be.

  • A mother holds her newborn bundle of joy and wonders what she will become. She is not nearly what she will be.
  • A father shows his son how to properly hold his glove to catch a fly ball or a grounder. He is not yet what he will be.
  • Young men and women decked out in caps and gowns ready to leave their high school on a mission to change the world are not yet what they will be.
  • A college graduate heads off for his first job interview. Confident, but nervous, he gets the job because the employer sees that he is not yet what he will be.
  • A couple dressed in tux and gown confidently stands before an audience of family, friends, and the Lord of the universe to pledge their love for a lifetime. They have prepared well and their parents are pleased, but they know they are not yet what they will be.
  • The rookie is amazing to the spectators and impressing the veterans. "He's good" they say. "But he's not yet what he will be."
  • God knows we are not yet what we will be.
  • A young believer publicly confesses, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." A few moments later all those who have gathered witness a new birth. Joy fills the room. She begins her new life. She is not yet what she will be.

"When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'" face="" (Mark 10:14 NIV)

Jesus knew that children were not what they would one day be. Jesus knows that new believers are not what they one day will be. Jesus knows that when we fail to what we know we ought to be that we are not what we one day will be.

God understands that we are always growing, always changing, and always becoming what we will one day be. He forgives us when we fail. He helps us begin again when we fail. He knows we are not yet what we will be.

God is shaping us into the image of His Son Jesus. (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18) He knows what we will become. One day we will be what He knows we will be.

Keep trying. Keep growing. Keep moving. Keep learning. You are not yet what you will be.