A lot of people misunderstand the editing process.
They think it’s about grammar and errors, mostly: a long process of fixing comma splices, subject-verb agreement, and apostrophes. And it is about those things part of the time (especially when it comes to my freshman students’ essay papers). But it is also a lot more than that.
For me, editing is going back through something I’ve written and making it resemble more accurately what is inside my head. Whenever I write, there is an image, an idea, a mood or a feeling I want to convey, and editing is my way of trying to strike the tarket with more precision.
Sometimes that means rearranging sentences or paragraphs, or adding something here or deleting something there. Sometimes it means pondering a word I’ve chosen, replacing it with another, better one, and then replacing it with another after that. Sometimes it means making sure I laugh in the right places, and fixing it if I don’t.
The editing process is when I try to make my writing match the vision I have for it.
And so with God. When we think of our omniscient God, it’s easy to remember that the “all-knowing” aspect of Him sees all of our failures and flaws. And God can indeed see those things. But God also knows all of our possibilities and strengths and what we have the capacity to do. More than we do, God has the vision of who exactly we are meant to be, what we might be like when we’re everything He created us for.
Yes, our life on earth is a span in which we are meant to love other people and to make Jesus’ love known through our own lives. But it is also the span in which God is working – editing, if you will – to make us the person He knows we will and can be. Sometimes that involves correction, the erasing of flaws and bad habits, the changing of wrong things. But it involves revising, too, and God uses the everyday circumstances of our lives to shape us, to match us to His vision of who we really are beyond the sin and under the blood.
On days that you are discouraged, or on days you’re overwhelmed by your imperfections, remember that. God has a vision for you and an understanding of who you are and who you will be – and more and more I am convinced that is what we are meant to understand from Jeremiah 29:11. God has plans for us, a vision for us and who we will be that we cannot comprehend. Every day that we spend here is a step toward that vision, and even the “best self” that we try to imagine for ourselves pales in comparison to what God has imagined for us.
The story of our lives has been written and reworked by the master Author. One day, it will not be anything less than everything He meant it to be.