Growth is Gradual

By Rachel Stewart

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9

I just want to encourage you today to NOT give up.

When God puts a dream in our hearts, sometimes it’s so hard to wait on the fulfillment of that dream.  We live in a world of instant gratification.   We do not like to wait.  As Christians, we tend to get discouraged if we don’t see progress.

We give up too quickly.

I want so badly to be further along with the Lord than I am.  I constantly get tripped up and blow it.  I don’t know about you, but I get so discouraged when I mess up.  I have two scales that I rate myself on as a Christian.  I’m either “on fire for the Lord” or  “a complete and utter failure” (most of the time you will find me behind door number 2).   For me, it’s one step forward and two steps back.

But the Lord has been teaching me that the Christian life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.  And we will not reach the finish line until we get to heaven one day.  Growth for a Christian is gradual… day by day.  And you know what, that’s okay.

Growth takes time, just like plants in a garden.  They don’t grow into ripened mature fruit overnight.  If we sat down and stared at the plants, we would not be able to see them grow or change.  Growth takes time.  But the interesting thing is, there’s still work to do while the plant is growing. The plants need continual sunshine, water, and nutrients in order to grow to maturity.

A Christian “plant” is no different.  We need continual SON shine. And we need to consistently take in food and nutrients for our souls through reading and studying His Word.

And when we fall, which IS going to happen, we cannot let that take us completely out of the race.  We need to get back up and keep going.

Run to the Lord, not away from Him.

We are going to make mistakes.  The Lord knows we are not perfect.  Psalm 103:14 says, “He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

It’s not about how fast we are.  There has been many a sprinter who has burned out and never make it to the finish line.  You know the runners the devil hates?  He hates the slow and steady ones, the ones who WON’T GIVE UP.   They fall down.  They skin their knees.  They sprain their ankles.  They trip up over strategically placed obstacles.  They might even be limping.  BUT THEY KEEP ON GOING.   Paul was one of these runners.   He said in Philippians 3:12-14,

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Whether you see growth or not, keep going.  Keep on keeping on.  Stay in the race.  Keep seeking Him every day.  Keep reading His precious Word.  Keep investing in the relationships all around you.

Growth is gradual, but the harvest is coming.  Don’t give up.  

There’s a song we sing with our preschoolers at church.  I leave you with these sweet lyrics today.

“Day By Day” By Jana Alayra

Day by day I’m learning to love You

Day by day I’m learning to serve You

You take my hand-You’ll never walk away-As you change my heart

Day by day

Day by day

Day by day

Day by day

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