Do you ever get to a point where you really, really want to grow but something seems to be holding you back? It’s that point where you realize that before you can go forward, you have to stop, fall on your knees before God, and ask Him to reveal to you just what it is that is stunting your growth for the time being.
Maybe I’m the only one, but this is a place I definitely find myself now and then. It usually comes when I have become lax in some area of my spiritual walk. Maybe I’ve gotten lazy during my morning reading time and have neglected to journal. Maybe my prayer life has grown more compartmentalized than it should, relegated to prayer times instead of flowing throughout the day. Or, maybe I’ve reversed that and determined to flow the prayer throughout the day but haven’t grounded it in a solid morning prayer time. It could be that I’ve been lazy regarding confession, or even that praises just aren’t flowing from my heart and mind as they should.
When it’s one of the above situations, it’s pretty easy to find the cause of my stunted growth. That also means it’s pretty easy to get back on track, provided I haven’t strayed too far.
But, there are other times when all of those things are flowing well, but something is still missing. It’s usually in those times that God is ready to take me deeper. He wants to carve away yet another rough spot on the stone of my life, that I may fit more perfectly into the body of believers.
Let me say right here and right now that I love to grow. I don’t always enjoy the process of growing, but I love growth. I love the victory that comes with it. I love the deeper understanding that results. There is little more powerful, precious, and encouraging than seeing those steady marks of growth.
Having said that, however, I do have a confession to make. There are times when I know what God wants me to do that I may take that next step of growth, but I walk away from it.
Recently I was in that position again. There was something I needed to deal with. Something I needed to do. I wasn’t going to move forward until I took care of it. I wasn’t opposed to the step. In fact, I was excited about it! But, one thing held me back.
I feel so ridiculous even thinking that such a thing could hold me back from something so wonderful as spiritual growth! Growing closer to my Savior! Seeing one more step of victory! But, as soon as the Spirit revealed to me what it was I needed to do, I immediately countered with, “I just don’t have time to do that right now!” It was almost time to move on to the next commitment of the day, and I just couldn’t deal with what God was telling me to do in that moment.
As soon as the thought popped into my mind, I realized how many times I’ve responded that way. I realized that I’ve compartmentalized my growing time into 45 minutes to an hour every morning when I have my reading and prayer time. Outside of that, “life” begins. It’s time to exercise. Then it’s shower, breakfast, and chores. Then school. Then my typical afternoon routine of emails, Polish, piano, and writing, followed by the miscellaneous other tasks that introduce themselves. If it can’t fit neatly into that morning time, where will it fit?
The realization hit me hard. I knew immediately that I had to make a change. Every task and responsibility before me each day is God-given. The time to complete those tasks and responsibilities is also given by Him. He is in control! If He delays me first thing in the morning, then some of the tasks I think belong to the day might just be things He wants me to set aside. If there is something I need to do to draw closer to Him, He will provide the time necessary to do it! My continual prayer now is that my time will truly be His. That He will show me how to take the time necessary to grow. And that I will surrender to Him every moment of my time. Because it’s really not mine after all.