Longing For Perfection

By Jana White 
Staff Writer for The Daily Grace Co. 

I’m one of those people who loves things to be just right. I function in cleanliness and organization and really struggle to get anything accomplished when those two things are not the case. I want the house to be perfect and tidy. This desire for perfection is not just environmentally but it transfers into everything I do. If I start something, there’s something in me that won’t rest until it is accomplished and not just to simply have it done, but to do whatever it is at the best level possible. And even my kids…well, just kidding! I was on a roll.  

In light of this need for tidiness, I had cleaned all the sheets in the house in the midst of a busy week. I had finished all the other laundry and the bed linens were the last thing that needed to be taken care of. As they came out of the dryer, I put the kids’ sheets on, but our sheets were left on the bed to get done sometime before we finally made it to the bed for the night.  

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It was just before midnight and I was physically and mentally exhausted. There I was with the sheets. I hate putting sheets on a bed. But it has to be done, right? King sheets just seem complicated to me. You can’t really tell if it’s the “right way” unless you put them on. This tired momma didn’t have time for that! As I stretched the sheets across the mattress, I realized after the 3rd and definitely the 4th corner that it wasn’t on quite right. They needed to be turned. I was unusually devastated by this reality. I was so tired that doing something wrong that needed to be redone just broke the last straw. 

In the next few moments, the Lord used that sheet that wasn’t turned the right way to teach me a lesson about my heart. You see, in that moment I knew what I desired. I really wanted those sheets to be right. But equally in that moment I realized that my exhaustion outweighed anything else. I had come to an end of myself and my abilities. And in that moment, the Lord reminded me that my longing is exactly as it ought to be. Not in the crazy my house is out of control rampage, but in the longing for things to be right—to be perfect. That longing is rooted in the very essence it was created to flourish in. In that same moment, I felt the brokenness of sin and it left me weeping over a wrinkled, not-quite-right fitted sheet. 

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When God created the universe and everything that inhabits it, including us, it was not the plan for things to be broken, not right, and imperfect. But sin changed all of that. It didn’t take God by surprise when sin entered the world. Rather, he had a plan that would undo all the brokenness, sadness, and imperfection that rushed in with the first sin. The truth of the gospel—that God would send His Son to be the wrath-bearing sacrifice to pay for our sins and redeem us to Himself—gives us great hope in the midst of this imperfect world. However, the reality of this imperfect world still remains day in and day out. 

But there is something about this longing I have for perfection. That longing corrects my perspective. The here and now is not perfect, nor will it ever be. But there is a day coming when all things will be made right and all the sin and sadness will be undone. When we think about that day when we are with the Father, we find satisfaction—rest—for that longing. So we await with blessed assurance knowing that this day will come and all things will be perfect. 

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