Are You Plagued by the Almost-but-not-quite Syndrome?

This is the whale I almost saw in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

This is the loggerhead turtle baby I almost saw hatch out of a nest on Edisto Island.


Over my lifetime, I've almost been selected to give the speech at my high school graduation, almost won a scholarship to the She Speaks Writer's Conference, almost learned to speak Spanish, and almost mastered the discipline of a daily quiet time.

Almost, but not quite. 

Are you ever plagued by the almost-but-not-quite syndrome?

You almost learn to live in faith not fear.

You almost learn to control your tongue.

You almost learn to respect your husband, your boss, or your coworker.

You almost quit smoking, lose weight, master your anger, quit watching soap operas.

Almost, but not quite.

It comforts me to know the mighty apostle Paul was plagued by the almost-but-not-quite syndrome too. This was his desire: "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings" (Phil. 3:10).

At the time of this writing, he was stuck in the almost-but-not-quite status. "Not that I have already obtained all this," he says regretfully, "or have already been made perfect."

Like us, he had his eye on the prize, but day after day he fell short. I'm sure he, like us, sometimes felt discouraged, disappointed, and downright disgusted with his failure to arrive. I wonder if he ever felt like giving up? I do sometimes, do you?

If you're struggling with a whale you cannot yet see, take comfort today from Paul's wise words:

 "I  press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Phil 3:12-14).

Will you join me today in forgetting yesterday, setting our eyes on the prize, and trying again, and again, and again -- in God's strength?

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" (Phil. 4:13).

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  1. Nicely written. I'm ALMOST ready for a sweet interview with a fellow home school parent this coming Tuesday.

  2. I can't wait, Scott! It's always exciting to share the way God has been so faithful to me and my family. For those of you who are interested, visit Speak Up! internet radio at and click the Speak Up! tab Tuesday, June 5 at 6 pm. The show will be archived for those of you who'd like to listen later.

  3. Lori, you did encourage me today. We fail everyday, we just have to keep our eyes towards home. Thank you Jesus

    1. Amen, dear sister, "This world is not my home. . ."