Christian growth · Christian Life

Sure and Steady Growth

 

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Isn’t it amazing what a little dose of Miracle Gro will do for a plant? This window box is nearly bursting at the seams with pansies, Lobelia, Creeping Jenny and a couple other annuals after a couple waterings with the fertilizer.

On the outside of my box of Miracle Gro it says, “Starts to work instantly – promotes quick, beautiful results.” I must say, it really does work well – if you remember to use it! Sometimes when I’ve neglected adding the plant food to my watering can I’ll be reminded just by the look of the plant. The blooms aren’t multiplying; instead it’s just maintaining its existence in my yard. Then the thought strikes my mind – “Add Miracle Gro!” Bingo! The plants take to it, and they’re off and blooming again.

I wonder if any one’s thought of creating a miracle grow for the Christian life; a neat little package that if applied weekly will guarantee “quick, beautiful results.” “That’s ridiculous!” you say. Of course it is, but I wonder how many would pick up the package and give it a good consideration? Growth in our spiritual life is gradual. It comes slowly, from day by day study of the Word, and that’s hard. We want to see sprouts of new growth overnight.

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Just as I neglect the needed addition to my plants occasionally, we’re prone to neglect what we know will bring growth in our spiritual lives. It takes too much effort. We may be very thirsty and know we need a drink from the Living Fountain of God’s Word, but it’s just easier to go talk to a friend about my issues. We’re content with a little splash of water – a quick prayer, a light reading of Scripture without a real longing to commune with our Savior.

Sometimes our loving “Gardener” will bring a trial that will force growth. We’re pushed to the Word every day because it becomes our very sustenance. We can’t survive without it and we are very aware of need. For weeks, perhaps months our lives sprout under the nourishment of God’s Word. Jeremiah 15:16 says, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart; for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.”

After the trial, have you ever found yourself feeling not so needy and falling back into your comfortable routine of neglect? We all have to guard our hearts so that we continue to grow by delighting in the Word. We are preparing for the next trial before it arrives.

Psalm 119:80 – Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed. 

When the next trial comes, we will find that our heart is “sound” or secure in the Word. We have new blooms, so to speak. They’ve come gradually by the meditating of the word (Psalm 119:11) and we won’t be ashamed, in other words, we won’t fall apart and come unglued because we didn’t know how to apply the Scriptures to our situation.

The missionary Amy Carmichael said this about spiritual growth:

“Sometimes when we read the words of those who have been more than conquerors, we feel almost despondent. I feel that I shall never be like that. But they are won through step by step by little bits of wills, little denials of self, little inward victories by faithfulness in very little things. They became what they are. No one sees these little hidden steps. They only see the accomplishment, but even so, those small steps were taken. There is no sudden triumph to spiritual maturity. That is the work of the moment. “

We’ll never be done with growing until we reach heaven’s shores; it’s a slow yet deliberate process. There’s no Miracle Gro remedy for us as there is for my plants, but growth is certain if we just do what we know we need to do with our gracious Savior’s enabling.

What are you doing today to promote growth in your spiritual life? I’d love to hear about how you study the Word to keep it fresh!

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Christian Life · Prayer · Uncategorized

It’s Done!

This has been a year in coming and I still can’t believe my eyes when I look out the back windows of my house.  Are you ready for the backyard patio reveal?

Before:

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After:

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Of course this will be a work in progress as we add landscape to it a little at a time, but to see the beautiful hard-scape finished is enough to make me shout and cry, and I’ve done both!

In June the area between the smaller circles will be connected with a low brick wall.  I’ll plant rose shrubs there.  The grass between the circles will remain.  Perhaps a birdbath or the like will go on the grass. Shrubbery will be added along the sides of the large circle, flowers will be border the edges.  Can you see it?  I can!  Slowly and in time it will come.

Here are a couple more pics:

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The smaller circles will be for a cafe’ table on one side and a bench on the other.  We want to have plenty of seating options for our guests.

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This patio was dreamed about as a way to really be able to utilize, for God’s glory, the huge backyard we have.  This really invites you out there!  It’s our desire to use this as a meeting place for people.  I have a fun plan for the early fall, but I’ll not share that quite yet.  =)

I hope I never forget all that the Lord has taught me as I’ve waited for the completion of this project!  Let me write a few of those here for my remembrance and your encouragement:

  • God is always at work – even when we cannot see the evidence with our eyes.
  • God can take ugly situations and make them beautiful in His way and His time.
  • His timing is always perfect.
  • His provision is always complete and beyond what I could ever do.
  • I can trust God to do the work needed in my life and others’ lives.
  • Sanctification happens one step at a time – just like my backyard project.

So,

Trust Him dear Mom.

Trust Him single gal.

Trust Him wife.

For all the needs in your life, the Architect of your life is at work.

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With praise to my God,