“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 NIV
When I think about growth, I think about planting seeds inside on a windowsill. I remember when my son was a toddler. And every day we would draw back the curtains so the dirt could have light and we would mist them with a spray bottle. I think about the warms, the excitement on my son’s face as little graceful sprouts reached up out of the soil towards the light. Growth was such a beautiful, peaceful, graceful thing. So easy to forget that there is a thing called growing pains.
I am sorry if any one read the post “Thy will be done” and thought or even prayed that they could grow in the will of God. Older Christians always say not to pray for patience because patience has to grow, so your patience will be tested in order to grow – I think they say it half joking and half out of “been there, done that”. Apparently, when you tell God: “Not my will, but Thy will be done” a similar thing happens.
First you lose control over things, be pushed outside your comfort zone. Then you have to submit to rules you disagree with. Then one by one things around you and in your life begin to change and you start to realize you had more selfish strong will than you had realized.
I had a rough week. While other are struggling with the social distancing, I am feeling growing pains of submitting to God. It caused some upset in my normal schedule and I changed the way I studied my Bible and therefore could not post. I am sorry again.
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” Colossians 1:9-10 NIV
So how do I summarize this past week? Busy and spiritually eventful. The biggest time consumer was having to make fabric face masks to comply with the newest rule in New York State – we cannot leave our houses without them (pretty much).
[Inserting note – my computer has lost this document and restored to a past save point and I have lose a number of words – let me regroup]
So making masks took up most of my time. Being the go to person for all hand sewn things, I had orders for masks before I even knew if I had the materials needed. Also, while doing this, I was unable to study the Bible the same way, but a recent sermon my Pastor preached on Daniel came to mind and I chewed on the word of the Lord. It made me think about how God is ultimately in control of who our leaders are, and we must obey them. Daniel drew the line at prayer – he would not stop praying. So I faithful made the masks and now obediently wear them. Miraculously I had just enough supplies for my loved ones and my best friend’s family needed them, I had no more elastic but she said she had some. So I made her family’s masks without elastic.
During this time other things dipped into my time. I don’t believe I made mention before here, but my son’s grandfather passed away a week ago and comforting conversations with my son and his family have also been necessary.
“5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV
And I added goodness to my faith, knowledge to my goodness, then came along self-control and temptation to lose control. Actual the temptations have been coming and most have been easy to see and turn from. But, I ran into a little issue with my sweet man. I felt that again he had exploited my love for him and acted selfishly and did things he knew would hurt my feelings. But it is also true that he is NOT mine. We are not in a relationship – He need God, not me. He could not understand why I was hurt, since I said no to him. We aren’t dating and he can do whatever he wants. What a wakeup call!!! I had developed my own plans, my own thoughts, and my own will in relation to this situation. I need self-control and to further submit to the will of God. I needed to step back.
I apologized to my sweet man and told him I prayed about it and I was wrong. I love him and I cannot be with him at this time because he needs his relationship with Jesus restored. It’s the bottom line. I tried to love him as God does, but I cannot at this time. God has the grace to love him in sin. I told him it time to choose God and that I was backing up and still praying for him.
And look at that – I grow self-control while submitting to God’s will. After that perseverance… and I continue to Grow.
I have still prayed fervently for my dear friend. I still sent him the daily devotional as I have for the past 6 months or so. But I have backed off and given him over to God (a few times) and he is in God’s hands. Oh Lord, you love him more than I love him – work your will in his life as you give him the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that he may know you better. I pray that the eyes of his heart may be enlightened in order that he may know the hope to which you have called him. I ask in the Name of Jesus please do this or exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or think! ~ Amen
I am growing. I am submitting to who God wants me to be and into the roll God wants me to be in. It has its growing pains. I trust what the Lord has planned.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7 NIV
Today – I was reminded to be grateful and thankful for even these growing pains. So thankful for growth that is measured. I still want more. I still pray for the situations in my life holding God captive to his own word and promises waiting for the blessings to flow. But I am thankful to even have the promises to begin with and thankful that the victory has been won. And I cannot wait for the day I can type: “my sweet man has been transformed into something new old things are passed away!” Or to declare how God has resolved my other needs and battles in my life. In the meanwhile I will grow adding to my self-control, perseverance and so on.
~Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91 ~