I LOVE before and after pictures (as long as the After pic is better than the Before)!! I love home improvement shows but I really just like to watch the end where I can see the project before and the great transformation after. I get glued in whenever I see an infomercial about some great weightloss product that shows the consumers before and after. I find myself envying those people who have made such a great improvement to their bodies. For a moment that might motivate me to really want to change my health and appearance but it usually fades by the end of the day. I also think about the before and after pictures that I will someday see when this life is over. Will my "after" picture show a great transformation. Will there be a difference in who I am from when I first began my journey with God? He continues refining us and ironing out the wrinkles that sin has caused. God is working in us to remove those strongholds and barriers that constantly try to sway us away from Him. He already knows what our "after" picture is going to look like, even when its so hard for us to see any improvement and we feel like we are constantly losing this battle, whether it be with relationships, self image, addictions.... we all have battles to face. But I sense that God is not so much concerned about the finished product as he is with the journey to get there. He will heal you but in His own way and in His own time. This is where faith comes in. I read in the book "Managing Your Emotions" by Joyce Meyer, that God may want to work on a different area in your life than what you want, but you must lose your own agenda and let God have control of the healing process. I may want desperately to lose 100 lbs but I will never get there if God needs to deal with me on another issue first. My part is to cooperate with Him in whatever area He choses to deal with first. This is so difficult for me because I want instant results. I want to know that I will see improvement quickly for the changes that I make, but I am learning that this is not always the case. Sometimes the"after" picture comes after days, weeks, maybe years of us constantly making little changes in the right direction. I have found myself many times giving up because I can't see the fruits of my labor... but I need to remember that God can. He is pleased with any attempt we make in the right direction and with His help... we will get there! Gods words says "that He who began a good work in you will carry it out until completion... " (Phillipians 1:6) God isn't finished with me (or you) yet!
Check out this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALx7GCQ9GxE