Tuesday August 9, 2022 – When we think we’re not making progress…

Philippians 2:12b,13 …continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for
it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

In high school I took a reading improvement course.  It was a one semester speed reading course where we were taught to increase our reading speed (words read per minute) without losing comprehension.  Part of the course was regularly viewing films that were the printed text of a story.  All of the text was blurred except for a section of one line.  The purpose of the films was to teach us eye movement and to grasp all of the words that appeared in the readable section of the line.

Initially, each line was divided into three segments.  Rather than our eyes moving from word to word, the film forced us to absorb the words in one-third of the line at a time.  The highlighted, readable section would rapidly move across each line in three jumps and so on down the page.  Following the film we took a test over what we had just read to measure our comprehension.  In order to stay with the fast group, we were required to maintain a 70% comprehension score on each test.  Each film required us to read faster than the previous film.

Over the weeks, the films changed from showing three readable sections of each line to two sections and finally to one section.  In it, the entire line was then readable and our eyes had to take in the entire line of text in one moment as the highlighted section moved down the page.  I remember barely being able to keep up week after week, from the very first film until the last film at the end of the semester.  It was always a strain.  It never felt like I was making any progress except for the fact that I knew the word per minute reading speed was increasing.

I am so grateful that in our last class of the semester, the teacher showed us the very first film of the series we had worked through.  I was amazed.  This film, that 15 weeks ago seemed to move so fast that I could barely keep up with it, was now slower than molasses in winter.  It was one thing to know my word per minute reading speed was much faster.  It was entirely different to go back and see just how far we’d come.

Sometimes in our Christian walk we experience the strain of thinking we are not making any progress.  It can seem that we are always under strain from being stretched by our circumstances and things in our lives that God is dealing with.  It is important to recognize that God is at work in us – and that He is a very capable worker.  Be encouraged!  Let your confidence be in Him.  He is making progress with us and accomplishing things in us that we might not be aware of.  Ask Him to open your eyes to see what He has done.


About Don Schmidt

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Don was VP of Operations & Director of Student Life for 2 years at Williamson Christian College in Franklin, TN - a wonderful, accredited 4 year college for adult learners. That is where he started writing the devotionals. The passion of his heart is to love God and to help others learn to love God more and more. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI - Class of '66. Graduated from Michigan State in '70 and Wheaton Grad School in '78. Thunderous conversion October 11, 1968. He and Donna were engaged 2 hrs & 15 minutes after they met August 25, 1969 at a Christian camp in Georgia. They married in '70 and have 4 wonderful sons. Most of his adult career has been in business in NE Ohio. They lived for 20 years in Peninsula, OH. They attended St. Luke's Ministries (Anglican) in Copley, OH for many years. Six years ago they were reassigned by the Lord to attend River of Life Community Church in Hudson, OH. St. Luke's prayerfully sent them off on this new adventure with much love.
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