There are times I feel like I’m growing in the Lord a lot — hearing His voice clearly, devouring the Word daily, and walking in mercy toward others consistently. Then there are other times when I feel like I’m stuck — where God seems far away, I can’t seem to get into the Word, and I’m walking around with an angry edge.
Part of it, I’ve come to realize, is that I don’t always adapt to what’s going on around me. In other words, situations in life change but I don’t want to. I don’t want to accept the changes in my family, my job, my health, my finances. And I know it is simply a CHOICE to acknowledge things and grow or not. Unfortunately many times I choose NOT to grow and it’s because of fear.
Then the other day I read something that helped me with this.
I knew I have had a fear of the unknown at times, and with God’s help, it’s gotten better over the years. But what I read said that it’s not always what we don’t know that causes us to fear, but it’s the pain and loss of what we do know. Meaning this — it may be more difficult to let go of the familiar territory in our lives, the people and places we’re accustomed to, our routines and habits, and other circumstances we’re acquainted with, than to embrace something new. Sometimes it’s not necessarily what we’re afraid to go to, but what we’re afraid to turn loose of.
In Luke 9:57-62 Jesus explains some of the challenges of being His disciple.“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Vs. 58) Now for me, I can get real comfortable right where I’m at — same seat at church, normal exercise time, usual places to shop, familiar people to hang around. It’s all good.
But as we follow Him, we don’t always know where life is going to take us. Jobs can shift. People may move. Children will grow up. Family members pass away. I find it interesting that in the Matthew 8 account of this story, immediately after telling His disciples how unconventional their lives may become, they all got in a boat with Jesus and a storm came up. (Matt. 8:23) Boom! Just like He said —you never know what you’re going to get!
Except one big thing we do know we’re always gonna get — we’re always gonna get Him. God will never leave us or forsake us. He’ll be in the floodwaters and fire with us. He’ll go through the storms and struggles with us. He is Immanuel — “God with us.” (Matt. 1:23)
Therefore, I can choose to grow, because He is with me. I can face the unknown, because He’s with me. I can let go of the past, because He’s with me. I can get courage to change, to advance, to try, to mature, to believe, because He’s with me. And I can get permission to fail too, because He’s with me and doesn’t judge me.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”— Serenity Prayer
He’s with us, y’all. Let’s choose to grow.