As I write this article, I am 35.5 weeks pregnant with my second child. My body has been growing at an alarming rate and in just about every direction! I will keep growing and become even more uncomfortable until Baby Jack graces us with his presence. Then, the growing pains change.
My body will shift and even though it will go somewhat back to normal, eventually, (or it’s new normal), my body will never be quite the same. That’s just how it works. The process is a rollercoaster of emotions and stages; it is beautiful, painful, encouraging, overwhelming, and all the feelings in the world. The end result is a different me.
The same can be said about spiritual growth. When we are in the trenches of Christianity, striving to look more like Christ, growth happens...and growth should happen! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” I believe that spiritual growth manifests itself in different ways and the Lord can and will use all kinds of experiences to mold us to look more like Him.
Here are a few things I have found to be true about spiritual growth:
1. Spiritual growth is (often times) painful; it is a refining process.
Refining processes are meant to remove unwanted substances and purify. Now doesn’t that sound like fun? We do not always see the beauty of spiritual growth during the thick of it. Sometimes spiritual growth just hurts and does not make sense. Often times we can look back at a time of growth and see God’s hand present throughout the difficult season, although we felt lonely or confused during it. Jesus tells His disciples in Luke 9:23, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” He never promised us that being a Christian, a Christ-follower, a disciple, would be easy.
2. Spiritual growth is beautiful.
Seasons of growth cause us to lean into the Lord and see His faithfulness all the more. These are seasons where we learn more about God’s character and His eternal purpose. We experience the Lord as Comforter, Provider, Healer, etc. We see that God is good, God is good to us, and God is good at being God (to steal a line from Lysa TerKeurst).
3. Spiritual growth is natural.
When we acknowledge Jesus as Lord, that Jesus died for our sins and rose again on the third day, when we become a Christian, we should expect spiritual growth to take place; this is sanctification. At the moment of our salvation, we begin the process of being made holy, to look more like Christ. With the Holy Spirit inside of us, the same power that was with Christ at His death and resurrection, we should expect big change!
One thing I know to be true about spiritual growth in my own life is that I want to make the most of it; I want to look different as a result of it. I want to look more like Christ and bring glory to His name. And I sure do not want to miss what He has in store for my life. Do you?
Meet the Author!
Casey Yates is a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend and speech-language pathologist. Casey loves all things Christmas, British historical fiction, walks, pie and coffee. Lots of coffee.