Life is never easy, no matter how peachy it may seem on someone’s outside. I grew up in a home where two parents love each other and love God. I grew up, by God’s grace, with a heart longing to know and experience the Trinity. This made the attitude of my heart and mind towards life a little different. Life, of course, is still life. Life on this side of heaven is unpredictable, uncertain, and full of imperfect, sinful people. Seasons of hurtful family drama, my own selfishness and pride, finding my identity in things that are not God, a relentless injury that robbed me of my chance to run collegiate track and field, stressors of this world. It has not been easy, but it has been rich – rich because I am in Christ. And even the ugliest of times can be made good by God.
Often times at the end of a day I feel like I didn’t get anywhere. After a few minutes sitting in that feeling of busyness but not life-giving productivity, I remember that the leap of growth God has brought me through happened in baby steps during a collection of todays. One of my favorite things about my relationship with Jesus, and the Christian faith for that matter, is that it is progressive. Grace is refining. If I desire to grow in Christ-likeness, even if I am learning a hard lesson, or struggling with a particular aspect of my sinful nature, it’s okay. I am in Christ, therefore God delights in a heart that desires to know and love Him. This is a degree of the gospel I preach to myself most often, I think. When I feel as though I am walking in circles, seemingly unable to overcome an idol or a distraction, continually fighting my flesh, He calls me to remember that grace is results in transformation. Daily, sometimes in small degrees, sometimes by even the smallest amount of strength… transformation occurs.
From one degree to another. Baby steps during a collection of todays. Sometimes it is a joyful process – other times it may be a painful one.
I’m also finding that as I follow Jesus I need to unlearn a way of being in the world and learn a new way of being. Of actually making the truth of the Bible tangible in my actions and attitude, instead of letting them remain simply as words on a page. Clothing myself with Christ, allowing His words to abide in me, growing in Christ-likeness…
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5