Flourishing Finish

As I look out at what is left of my summer garden, it is more than evident that this year is quickly coming to an end. Yet, the pictured summer plant is still standing and going strong, having withstood storms, drought and even my neglect while everything around it quickly fades away.

Unlike the plant, I am guilty of faltering when forced to endure my own storms, droughts and neglect. My coleus ran its designated course and continues to thrive. I refuse to be outdone by a plant!

It is my declaration to run my course and finish 2013 well. I commit to no longer allow imperfect conditions to deter me. I have concluded that when I choose to climb higher, strive for better, and act better, the larger the obstacles I am forced to overcome. Sometimes impediments are beyond my control. However, my largest obstacle is often…me.

Temporary disappointments can linger far longer in our minds well after a problem is gone. It can be hard to reprogram our thinking even after we overcome a hardship. It is human nature to look back on old hurts and offensives focusing on what we’ve endured instead of looking ahead to the promise of a better tomorrow. To the inability to “get over” a setback often thwarts the best intentions to move forward and into God’s promises.

“But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,”
Philippians 3:13-14

I challenge you to push forward toward your prize!  We all have a God-given purpose, goals to meet, and blessings to give not just receive…the work God has imparted each of us to do while we are here on this earth.

Recommit yourself to finish well. If necessary, begin those things God placed in you. God is infinite in His ability to restore and accelerate. Timing is not a concern for Him; His timing can put you years ahead when you were once decades behind.

Trust God. Have faith in what He can do in you and through you! Ignite your hope! Cast aside your fears! Don’t focus on how you started or even where your race began. God is with you every step of the way. Allow God to finish the good work He began in you!

“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God,” Acts 20:24 NKJV

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ,” Philippians 1:6 NKJV

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. They say it is a “choice”…we decide just how we feel by choosing the “positive” or the “negative” viewpoints of everything. What perspective can you put on a day? Whichever one you want!

    May you find a way to grow and thrive in all seasons! Enjoy your day…



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