You are Growing by Becca Mabry
“You are a very mature young lady.” This was a common phrase that I heard growing up. But what was better for me to hear was, “You’re pretty mature for a 19-year-old.” That was much more accurate. Years down the road it is almost amusing to look back to when I was 19 and think about how I thought I had it all together. While there was some truth that the Lord had matured me in some areas of my life as a 19-year-old, that was just the beginning of my journey. I was growing. I am still growing. I will be growing until the Lord takes me home. However, a part of my identity clung to being “mature.” In times when I stumbled in word, thought, or deed I would think, “If I was mature, why did I do that?” The answer: because I was/am extremely immature.
My dad always says, “You learn something new every day.” And how true that is both with facts and knowledge about our physical world but also about our spiritual lives. Colossians 2 says, “Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Just as a tree grows slowly over time, so does our maturity in Christ. We do not become believers and then have it all figured out. Instead, we begin a spiritual journey of maturity that contains victories, failures, and growing pains all along the way.
Fear of the growing pains is something I continue to struggle with. That fear is rooted in my idol of comfort and my lack of trust that God knows best. Despite my temporary dislike of being stretched, God is present in the growing pains. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” God has purpose in our growing pains. James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” God loves us too much to leave us were we currently are. He is growing us and maturing us, and He is with us every step of the way.
Second Corinthians 3:18 reminds us that we are not to be stagnant in our spiritual journey. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit Himself, who FULLY dwells within ALL believers, is the One who continuously transforms us more and more into the image of Christ. If we are seeking Him, it is impossible to become stagnant in our growth. And why would we exchange the opportunity to be changed more and more into the holiness of God for the easy comfort of complacency?
However, it is very easy to become complacent right where we are in our journey of maturity, especially if we are blessed with a season of ease. First Corinthians 14:20 says, “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.” God has each of us on a daily journey toward maturity that starts in our thought life.
So, how do we fight against complacency? We strive forward toward maturity, beginning in prayer. Philippians 1:9-10 tells us we pray for our maturity and the maturity of others. “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.” Colossians 1:9-10 says, “We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” We need to pray for wisdom and maturity for ourselves and others. James 1:5 encourages us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Ask for God to give you the desire to grow and mature. Then, in high expectation, ask Him for His abundant wisdom.
You are growing. God will continue to grow you. And while we are continually growing, we must also live in the truth that God loves us right where we are. He loves us no more or no less when we choose comfort over growth. In this moment, right now, with your struggles, with your doubts, with your fears, you are loved. You are known. You are enough. God kindly, graciously, gracefully, and mercifully seeks His sheep. He will correct your heart. He will show you where your heart is straying. Humbly admitting our faults and seeking for the Lord to guide us and grow us magnifies Him.
You are growing. Your identity is in Him.