Our property is a mystery.
Every year, our flowers bloom later than everyone else’s in town. We have no idea why!
This morning I grabbed my yearly pic of our red Andromeda blossoms. Looking back through Google photos, I can see when they’ve bloomed each year since we moved in, which has been anytime between the beginning of March to the beginning of April. That’s a wide time frame!
They haven’t ever NOT bloomed, we just don’t know exactly WHEN they will. Isn’t it the same for us sometimes?
We know that God has plans for us, but we don’t understand when or how they will be accomplished. We don’t understand why so-and-so has reached the maturity or station they have while we languish in the same state we’ve been in for what seems like forever.
Oh, to be a flowering shrub!! My Andromedas don’t care about the neighbors down the street. They don’t even care about each other! My light pink Andromeda is only just beginning to show little buds, while this red one has blooms opening already. They’re not in competition!
Should we be comparing our walk with others, trying to compete with them in spirituality and piety? No. We should not be, but somehow we find ourselves doing just that.
“Sister Sally reads her Bible 40 minutes every morning. I’ll read mine for 45 minutes!”
“Brother Saul prays aloud for 4.5 minutes. I’ll go 6!”
God is always calling us higher in spiritual growth, but that calling is not for comparison with our brothers and sisters. He is calling us into a relationship with Himself! He wants us to grow more and more into the image of his Son, Jesus Christ.
“And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18b NLT).
As we live in obedience to the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves getting closer and closer to that goal. We will not reach it perfectly this side of heaven, but it is worth striving for!
Paul wrote to the church in Philipi, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:12-14).
Pressing on is an active endeavor, requiring our participation.
Spiritual maturity is evidenced by the way we live, but it doesn’t necessarily work the other way around. Someone may be busy doing a lot of good to help people in their community, but have no relationship at all with Jesus. On the other hand, walking in step with Jesus naturally leads to actively loving others and meeting needs.
“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God” (1 John 3:18-19).
As we walk out life on this earth, let’s keep our focus on the goal of pleasing our Heavenly Father. Our “scheduled” bloom time is ultimately up to Him!
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.Ecclesiastes 3:11