My backyard has been in desperate need of a makeover ever since, well, I first moved in more than six years ago. When I moved in, I made several cosmetic changes to the interior of my house, but it’s taken a lot longer to tackle the outside.

I’ve decided that I’m going to spend the next few months investing my time and money into giving my backyard a makeover. Impatient me would love to snap my fingers and have the entire yard transformed at once. Sadly, that’s not going to happen. I could attempt to make over huge areas of the yard all at once, but I fear that I’d quickly become overwhelmed, discouraged and ultimately quit.

So right now, my mission is to tackle a little of the yard at a time. The picture above is a snapshot of the flower bed I worked on this past Saturday. It started as a weedy, leaf-riddled bed, and now I’ve added several flowers, plants and pine straw. It’s a very small start on the backyard transformation, but it’s one less spot to transform now.

Likewise, there are many parts of me that I feel are in need of a makeover. And I wish that I could just snap my fingers and poof! transformation occurs. Or I wish that I could go to sleep and wake up with more patience, more trust, less of a critical attitude–all those characteristics that I struggle with changing.

In reading through the Bible, I notice that God’s makeovers typically aren’t an instantaneous deal (unless you count Saul/Paul, although I’m not sure I’d want a makeover as radical as his). For the most part, God used a combination of time and difficult circumstances to transform His people. Moses was sent to herd sheep in the desert for forty years to cool his hot head off and prepare to herd the nation of Israel out of Egypt. David was sent out of the king’s palace and into hiding in caves as he learned to rely not on his own strength and power but on God’s.

I believe that God is still in the business of transformation, but He usually takes the one step at a time approach, not the all-over extreme makeover that we might prefer. That doesn’t mean that He can’t or won’t infiltrate every ounce of our hearts and bodies that need His makeover skills. Indeed, He is not limited; however, perhaps one of the reasons that He sometimes seems so slow to transform us is that our finite beings are too easily overwhelmed with too much, too soon.