This week’s Mindful Monday devotional is about growth. It happens to all of us whether we like it or not in the physical realm. We can have a lot to do with it in the spiritual and emotional realms, however. Growth is important in all areas of our life. When life become stagnant, depression sets in, feelings of insecurity and unworthiness settle into our thoughts and then our growth really slows down.
I’m guilty of trying to rush growth. I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman who has it all together. I want so badly to hear the Lord say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” when He either takes me to Heaven through death or when Jesus returns for His bride. I have a situation in my life right now that the Lord is trying to teach me (I believe) to slow down and trust Him in.
I read a devotional by Billy Graham the other day that really struck a nerve with me. It was like the Lord was tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “ahem…this is for you, my child.” He’s good that way. He always knows how to get my attention 🙂 Here it is for you to ponder as well:
Life Giving Faith
“But to all who did accept Him and believe in Him, He gave the right to become children of God.” -John 1:12 NCV
The ugly larva in its cocoon spends sometimes many months in almost unnoticeable growth and change. But no matter how great that growth may be, there comes a moment when the little creature passes through a crisis and emerges a beautiful butterfly. The weeks of silent growth are important, but they cannot take the place of that event when the old and the ugly are left behind, and the new and the beautiful comes into being.
Many Christians whose faith and lives testify that they have been converted to Christ do not know the exact day or hour that they left behind the old and the ugly and came to know Him. Whether or not they can remember the specific time, however, they can be sure there was a moment when they crossed over the line from death to life.
That moment comes when we put our faith in certain objective facts –in the work of Christ, His cross, His tomb, and His resurrection. Praise God for calling you to this life-giving faith!
The story of the larva going months in almost unnoticeable growth and change made me think of my own life. We all go through changes we don’t even notice. The part about us coming to a time when we put our faith in HIS cross, HIS tomb, and HIS resurrection made me think about how we had nothing to do with our redemption apart from believing and receiving Jesus and His gift of eternal life through what HE did. HIM.
We did nothing to help Christ’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection (on the contrary we are WHY He went through all He did), but He went through it all FOR us. For us to GROW in our knowledge of Him as we learn to accept the truth of who He is, all He did, and how much we need Him. Those don’t happen overnight. The Lord is our shepherd, and as such, he gently leads us. He doesn’t flip a magical switch in the heavenlies and suddenly we are perfect. He knows the important of our growth spiritually and emotionally as much as it’s important for a baby to progressively grow in stages.
My point in all of this is that I know many of us need to learn to be still and trust the stages the Lord takes us in on our way to glory. Just like that larva in the cocoon, we need that stage where it feels like we are dead and as painful as it can be, there is a reason behind it. There are things that happen in the spiritual realm, in our hearts and lives that need to be slowed down to nearly a standstill in our way of thinking. God has a reason for them all and we shouldn’t run ahead of Him.
“The larva passes through a crisis and emerges a beautiful butterfly.” How many of us are passing through a crisis right now? I suspect many who may read this along with myself. The crisis has a purpose…it’s needful to pass through it to come out as a beautiful butterfly.
I once read a story about a boy who tried to help a baby chick out of its egg instead of waiting patiently for the chick to slowly peck its way out on its own. There was a reason there was a slow progression for the chick. If you help a chicken out of its shell then it could get sick or even die. The chicken knows what to do. If you try to help it out of its egg, it could bleed really badly as the blood supply needs to cut off at a particular stage on its own. It could become disabled and sick. It needs the stage of growth its in for that particular moment.
So like the larva in the cocoon, and like the chicklet in its egg, we need to sometimes go through long, painful periods of growth while trusting our Creator through it all. He has these stages in our lives fixed for a reason. Don’t get ahead of God!