It’s a good thing. But sometimes, growth can feel not so good. As my husband described it: like going down a river, sometimes growth feels fast and exciting like flying down the rocky rapids. Other times, growth can feel like floating down a lazy river or even stagnant and altogether dry. Slow, but steady. Both are good, although the latter can tend to feel like you’re making no growth at all. We can quickly become discouraged by our lack of growth when we start comparing ourselves to others around us or even ourselves and previous seasons of growth we’ve had that came easy and in large amounts. Our personal relationship with God can feel this way. Our Christian walk will not always be filled with surging, exciting, invigorating growth in the Lord and in God’s word. We will have seasons that are stagnant and dry.
I feel like I’ve been in a place like this as of lately. I/We haven’t been invested in our church like we have normally. I am not in a bible study this fall because of life lately, neither is Dakota. Part of me still regrets not trying to hop into one even though I’d be leaving in the middle of it. We have been at church very spotty since last spring when we started working up north, so that makes it difficult to keep up with the church happenings and just life of our friends at church. Throw in preparing to move, needing to be up north to take care of things for our new home, and of course, hunting… that has given us very little time to see and spend time with our church family and other friends, because we’ve been trying to spend that spare time with my family.
So here I sit. Uncomfortable. But, as I’ve been sitting through and sorting through this seemingly stagnant season, I’ve found grace in Dakota and I have been able to dig into the word together more than we have in the past few months. Those mornings that we have been able to quietly start in God’s word have been a sustaining grace for me. I realized him and I haven’t done this as much when we were both in studies and didn’t form the time to read God’s word consistently together. Since starting that, I realized how much I missed that sacred, special, time with my husband and the Lord. I will cherish those moments with him all of my days. No matter how short or long they are. I feel closest to Dakota when we are closest to Christ together. I’m so thankful for a man who continually leads me in the way I should go in Christ.
It’s also hard with preparing to move in other ways… there’s this awkward tension of trying to be excited and happy for your new home church, and we praise God He has revealed one to us so quickly and given us peace in that choice, but then there’s this feeling like it won’t/can’t/doesn’t quite measure up to your current home church. Church to us is more than JUST going on Sunday. Becoming a member (which God commands us to do!), serving the church, being involved in small group bible studies, investing in the lives of the people from our church, and growing genuine relationships and friendships with people from our church family have all been important to us over these last few years. God calls us TO become members of a church body, rather than just a visitor (John Piper has an amazing sermon regarding the seriousness of church membership here)… so, since then we have become that much more invested in our church body. Which, has made all of this very hard to mentally prepare for as we get ready to leave our home church here in the cities.
The important piece in all of this- this season of stagnant growth when life surrounding seems to be consuming and cluttering our faith-life, is that we recognize when we are in this type of slump/dry season and our response after the realization. No matter where you’re at in your walk with God, we all have these seasons. God’s word tells us that we are to run the race with endurance.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Hebrews 12:1 – ESV
The race is to Christ and the race takes endurance and perseverance, but the reward is eternally better.
We can rejoice in our pursuit of everlasting victory, no matter the stage of the race we are in, because we are filled with the hope of what awaits us at the finish line.
We are called to endure, not ease. Where are you at in your walk with God today friend? Realize it. Embrace it. Endure it. And join me in giving thanks to God during this season leading up to the anticipation of Christmas, God made flesh, for equipping you with the power of His word, His Holy Spirit, and His mighty love for you… holding fast to you throughout every season we walk through as a Christian.