Updated: Feb 15
Through the normal hustle and bustle of each day in life, routine can becomes mundane. It begins to feel like treading water. The way to the other side looks too vast to reach. This is where spiritual growth occurs. As Christians, God encourages His people throughout the Bible and reveals that all things support the splendor of God's glory alone. We'll evaluate the splendor of God's glory and embark on a Romans 8 exploration at the end of this post.
A mundane life vs an extraordinary life
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, and 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 15:1-5, ESV)
Christ is proclaiming the Trinity (one God, three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit) while telling the disciples about what spiritual growth is like and what it entails. He reminds them that the Father is the Godhead and through growth, they will mature--but only through Christ. When they abide in Him, Jesus will prune areas of their life to make them stronger while also taking away areas that cause them stagnation. All the while, God allows circumstances to mold them because without Him, they--and we--are nothing.
Power Made Perfect
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
The Apostle Paul is seeking God to remove a thorn from his side. God reminds Pul that His grace is sufficient and through Paul's weakness, God's power is made more evident due to Paul taking the focus off of himself and putting it on God. I beseech God the same way. Asking for a way out instead of asking for strength through the circumstances. Sometimes, God won't change circumstances because there is something He wants the Christian to go through. Everything is for the splendor of His glory--not our own.
Growing From Experience
There's plenty more examples of this throughout the Bible. During these past few months, God has allowed several circumstances to play out to allow me to grow and focus more on him. As a Corpsman, I provided medical care to over 2,500 Marines on a single base with two detachments to Arizona.
When a person transitions out, they can feel as if a part of their identity has changed. There is an idea of where to go . . . but often no clue on how to obtain the bigger picture. All too soon, depressive thoughts invade. In retrospect, here's what God revealed: I was expecting my work to define me instead of Christ defining me, my emotions lie, I was focusing more on myself than God, and I wasn't seeing the blessings. Perspective is a powerful thing, and like the tongue, this too will have the power over life and death.
This year allowed my husband and I the opportunity to go to Alaska. During this trip, I was speechless at God's majesty. Mountains still hid glaciers since the Flood wit steep cliffs. Waterfalls contained water so pure it could be taken from the fall. Different terrains were only miles apart; it felt similar to stepping into a different country.
The trip allowed me to see the beauty in God's handiwork. He is in control even when the situation makes it difficult to see this. In life, it's easy to listen to emotions and lies that masquerade as truth.
Note to the Reader: A Short Romans 8 Exploration
God has a plan for you. You are never too far to be reached.
The same God that made the Heavens and Earth and declared life into nothing, is the same God that redeems. He pursues the ones whom He calls.
"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified" (Romans 8:29-23, ESV).
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