I Hate Growth Spurts


Growth spurts are awkward things. At least they are for boys. The simple truth is that it's impossible to look cool during a growth spurt. First, your clothes don't fit right. All your pants are two inches too short and long sleeves tend to ride up around the elbows, giving you a slight hobo look. You no longer walk, you just gangle along, with arms and legs flying every direction. Growth spurts do weird things to your skin as well, and your once smooth baby-face is overrun by a minefield of pimples. Growth spurts are painful, which is why I'm glad they don't happen too often.

I do wish however, that I would experience more spiritual growth spurts. Most of the time my spiritual growth seems so painfully slow. I just wish I could overcome sin in one, explosive, life-changing moment, and be free of it forever. But as I've read the scriptures, I've come to see that the biblical pattern of spiritual growth is slow and steady. Listen to the words of Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The truth is, most spiritual growth is slow, and is the result of consistent meditation on and application of God's word. We long for quick spiritual growth, for mountain top moments when we encounter God and are instantly changed. We go to conferences and buy books in the hope of quickly overcoming our sin. But pay close attention to the word pictures used in this Psalm. The blessed man is like a tree planted by a stream of water. Spiritual growth is quiet and consistent, not quick and explosive, and it comes from regular meditation on God's word.

My dad has lived this Psalm for the past twenty-five years, and his life bears the fruit. He begins each morning in the Word of God, reading it, studying it, pondering it, and applying it to his life. The result? My dad is godly, full of joy, a spiritual rock, and a fruitful laborer for God. I want to be like my dad.

These verses should give us such hope! We have hope for change, hope for spiritual growth, hope for overcoming our sin. God doesn't want our spiritual lives to become stagnant, He wants to help us grow. He gave us His sacred word so that we might have a deep, soul-satisfying relationship with Him. Do you feel discouraged by a lack of growth in your life? This should give you new hope. If you take God's word to heart, you will grow. So by God's grace, let us resolve to make meditation on God's word a daily part of our lives. Do you desire to grow in godliness? The word of God is the key.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:00 AM  


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