I remember a time when my daughter Noelle was going through a slow time of physical growth. For a long time - it seemed like months and months - she would stand in front of me, and the top of her head was exactly as high as my belly button. We had a lot of fun joking around about that! But then before I knew it, time went by and one day she stood next to me and she was over an inch higher than my belly button! To me, this growth spurt was too sudden. Where'd my little girl go!
I've often talked of the growth process in the Christian life as "slow." Growing into maturity, as well as growing in maturity (the same difference between growing into an adult and growing as an adult) is by no means a fast process - and that's a good thing!
Of course, just as a child goes through various growth spurts on the way to adulthood, Christians also have their own growth spurts on their way to maturity (and again, in maturity as well). Those times are often fun and exciting, full of unexpected but welcomed revelations and sudden fulfillment of things we've been hoping and waiting for, as well as the lifting of the heavy weights of the illusions that we were living under that weren't really reality.
But yet isn't most of our growth slow? When we stand next to God, isn't it often months and months - and even longer much of the time - that we're staring straight into His belly button, wondering when we're ever going to grow that extra inch taller? Yes, we're impatient people! But God's never impatient. As I've grown in grace, I've shed my image of Him as someone who's in a hurry with us. I think we put the pressure of hurried growth on ourselves.
We remember some of the growth spurts that we've been through, with all of the awesome-ness that went along with it, and we wonder why it's not always like that. We think of how great it will be when we "finally" trust Him fully and absolutely with all that's in us, and we feel disappointed that we're not there now. We desperately want to grow into maturity - without realizing it can only come in a series of seasons, not instantaneously. We lack contentment in the Lord's work in us now - because it doesn't fit the illusion we've created!
Don't all little kids play "grown up" at some time or another. And don't all teenagers long for the "freedom" of adulthood. But what kid can truly live life as an adult? And as for teenagers - don't they really want the best of both worlds? They want to be adults but yet they want to remain childish. Again, adulthood - maturity - comes in God's well-planned and executed seasons. He's good with all that. :)
And as for the mature - when they're truly mature, isn't it that they realize that all they needed to be was a child?
I know you've got loads and loads of time to read my past posts... LOL... but just in case you're interested, here are a few related posts.
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