How a Season of Growth Can Transform Your Faith
It was one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had. And believe me, I dream of some crazy stuff. I rolled the ankle of my jeans up to reveal tiny green stems with leaves sprouting from my legs.
Yes, lovely reader, I was Groot (any Guardians of the Galaxy fans out there?). I was seriously freaked out by this dream, and paranoid that I really would become some sort of plant woman. This was only a few months ago, but I had forgotten about it until spring came with its budding trees.
For me, this dream represents growth. Growing is never easy, and something that all of us fear at some point in our lives. Growth involves change and stepping out of our comfort zones.
Growth strips us of our safe hiding places and reveals our hidden nature. It breaks and rebuilds. It tears apart and transforms. For more on what God has taught me in this season of growth, please read on.
Growth is Painful, but Powerful
Growth hurts. Just ask any pregnant woman, and they will tell you the discomfort and pain that comes along with a growing baby stretching out in the womb.
As human beings, we want to do things the easy way. However, masterpieces are created with time and effort. And the truth is that you are God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).
In order to grow and pursue the awesome calling God has for your life, sometimes you have to let God refine you. This will hurt, and it may even feel like the Lord is disciplining you. However, God is helping you grow as a person by stripping you of the things that hold you back from Him.
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Sometimes we must be led to a place of need in order to completely surrender our lives to the only One who can truly transform us. In order to grow, we must be refined. This refining process removes the dirt and gunk clogging up our souls in order to reveal the gold.
See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10 NIV)
Growth Takes Time
I frequently wish that Jesus would just perfect me this instant. That He would take away all of my failures, weaknesses, and temptations so I wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore.
But perfection in the the Lord’s eyes looks quite different from our expectations. Godly perfection requires growth, and growth takes time.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (Philippians 3:12 NKJV)
We need to be patient with ourselves in order to nurture our spiritual growth and maturity. You can’t force a plant to bloom, and the same goes with people.
If we didn’t have any weaknesses, then we wouldn’t need Christ. His death and resurrection was a one time event made for all of time. When we learn to surrender our weaknesses to God, then we can lean on His strength and glorify His name. Once we realize that growth isn’t about us, but about Jesus and His plan, we will flourish spiritually.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
Growth Breaks Through Darkness
When a seed is buried in the ground, it is surrounded by darkness. Yet somehow, the water and nutrients from the soil help this seed to sprout and break through the ground–into the light.
Lovely one, have you felt surrounded by darkness lately? When plans don’t go our way or one of life’s storms hit, sometimes the darkness can leave us feeling lost and alone.
However, we are never alone. Just when we think we are without light–without hope–God shines a light into the darkness and helps us break through the soil of our circumstances.
The dark times of life are some of the worst, and often times, people will shrink back. As believers in Christ, we are called to press on in faith, even when we can’t see the way out. We must trust that God is nourishing and preparing us until we are ready for our breakthrough.
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. (Psalm 18:28 NIV)
The love of Jesus empowers us to grow in grace. And this grace helps us transform little by little into our highest calling–a child of the Most High God.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
(Photography by Adarsh Ik and Jay Ma)
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Great post! Yes! This reminded me of how my difficult times has transformed me and produced growth in and through me in all areas of my life. His strength is made perfect in our weakness! Thank you God for getting me through and growing me!!
Amen! It’s so true that the hard times are what help us mature spiritually and develop character. Thank you for sharing! 🙂
This is a great post. I enjoyed your opening as “Groot Woman!” That’s quite a vivid dream! This is a lovely and needed post. The refinement process is very much like the growing pains that we want to avoid. The journey or the process is crucial and we just can’t gloss over it, can we? God uses that time for us to lean into Him even more. Thanks again for your encouraging words today!
I’m so glad I could encourage you Laura! And yes, my dreams can be quite humorous in that way. 😂 I think your description of “growing pains” fits perfectly to what God often does in our lives. It’s hard, but it produces good fruit. Thanks again for stopping by!
Thank you! 🙂