Here’s an old joke. I love this little story.
A family from the sticks made their first trip to the big city, and were in awe of the fast cars, the crowded streets, and the sky-scraper buildings. As mom did some window shopping, father and son walked into the lobby of a hotel. Near the front desk they saw something they had never seen before: a pair of sliding doors opening into a “small room.”
As they were standing there gawking at the small room, a short, frail woman in her seventies walked past them, stepped inside, pressed a button and the doors shut. A few moments later, the door opened and out stepped a tall, beautiful woman in her twenties. The man turned to his boy and said, “Son, go get your mother.”
It would be nice if transformation were this simple, just a matter of stepping into a room and pushing a button.
It would be nice if we could instantly swap our weakness and failures for strength and obedience.
It would be nice, but that’s not how it is.
It’s true that there’s no delay in receiving God’s mercy; his grace is both immediate and permanent. But the transformation to holiness is a process. It requires daily persistence. In fact, the willingness to keep trying, even after a failure, is itself a demonstration of holiness.
Solomon said, “For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…” (Proverbs 24:16)
The righteous man falls, like we all do. But notice that he didn’t get righteous at the push of a button or the flip of a switch. He got righteous by doing what we all need to do. He got up and tried again.
Is there an area of your life in which you’ve been tempted to stay down, to give up on ever getting it right? Here’s what leads a person to righteous: the determination to get up and try again.