Did you ever have one of those moments when you were swimming in the ocean and you looked up to realized that you had drifted way down the coastline? That you were no longer where you thought you were? Moments like that in life can be scary. To look up and see you’re not where you thought you were can be quite alarming. But these moments can also be quite exciting too, depending on the situation.
Unlike discovering you’ve been carried off by the undertow, there are times you look up and see you’ve slowly grown as a person. For example, this weekend I spent some time doing “academic” work with Allan. At almost four years old, he’s starting to like some school work play. Now for the past few years, he’s been my baby, my toddler, my wild child…but I’ve never looked at him as my preschool, knowledge-absorbing munchkin…until Saturday. He knocked my socks off with the letters he already knows, his ability to count, and his understanding of relatively complicated materials. I suddenly looked up and realized my son is growing up! It was both exciting and terrifying (because if he’s growing up, it really just means I’m getting older, LOL).
When we’re with someone day-to-day, it can be hard to see the slow, subtle grow that they experience. Suddenly we look up and realize they’ve grown up without our knowing it. When we’re with ourselves day-to-day, the same can be said. Sometimes we don’t realize that we’ve grown spiritually. We go about our relationship with God day by day and cannot necessarily see the subtle yet powerful work of the Spirit in our hearts. Then one day we look up and see that we are not where we once were in our relationship with God. We (hopefully) discover that we have grown, that we are closer to Him than ever before, that we more fully find our strength in Him alone!
The challenge arises, however, when we can’t see this growth in the moment. We look at our friends and family and we can see their growth. We start comparing ourselves to them. We wonder why “nothing” is happening in our own lives. Perhaps nothing is happening…if we’re not investing time with Jesus then we won’t be growing. But more often than not, we’re investing the time and yet can’t see the incremental growth taking place each day. Yet when we stop playing the comparison game and leave our eyes set on Jesus, He gives us these great moments to see our drift, to see our growth!
Sometimes these moments come from our church family. When we are living out Jesus’ call to be the church, to be a family of believers, we often have the opportunity to see the growth in each other. As we are walking through life together, the Spirit may use us to point out this growth, to encourage one another!
My prayer this week is that you may have the opportunity as God provides to see your growth. To know that you are not that same person you once were, that He is working in your life and growing you!
The second part of that prayer is that you would see how far you have yet to go to be like Jesus and dig in to your calling to live in the power and Spirit of Jesus! We are never done growing with Jesus. Allan may have learned a few numbers and letters when I wasn’t looking but he has a long way to go to become the next Einstein. And we likewise have a lot of work to emulate our Savior in all areas of our lives. But we are growing and maturing in faith! May you see that this week and be encouraged to continue each day digging in with Jesus!
In Christ Alone, Pastor Jan