Arrested Development

“They go from strength to strength.” Psalm 84:7 NIV.

“Enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.”

My thoughts today are: “arrested development.”

Last night, young and old gathered for the Randolph family’s Back to School tradition of measuring each of the grandchildren’s height. Every year, it is a joy to watch the excitement of the kids (from the ten year old to the teenagers) standing against that same, treasured piece of wood trim to see how much they have grown since the last school year. They want to grow. It can be a bit competitive, but they also cheer on one another. They have a healthy, God-given desire to be more than they were and to see some evidence of what they are becoming; that’s healthy, and as it should be.

Staying the same is not an option, nor is that what a healthy life is about. Life is about growth, progressing from one season and stage to another. To do otherwise would be called arrested development – the Peter Pan complex, an unwillingness to grow up. That can happen physically, emotionally, socially or intellectually. It also happens spiritually. Imagine if you never became any more than you are now. What a loss and senseless sacrifice of potential and possibility.

The Bible speaks of going from strength to strength, from faith to faith (Romans 1:17), and from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). “To as many as received Him He gave the power to become the sons of God.” John 1:12. There is a promise of becoming for each Christ-follower – becoming more, better, stronger. At each stage of your spiritual growth the Holy Spirit wisely and faithfully orchestrates events, circumstances, and opportunities to promote your growth and to test your progress.

Every season is valuable in the process, and every stage is important. Spiritual maturity is not achieved all of a sudden. It is found in the incremental steps of your life becoming more and more like Jesus each day. See 1 John 3:2 NIV/Romans 8:28-30 NLT. In your Christian life there should be the important element of what you are becoming, as well as what you now are. See Luke 16:10-12 NLT. Jesus said that the Spirit would “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13 NIV) leading you ever forward, onward, and upward.

And God knows how to give you all the responsibility and blessing that you can handle, based on your present stage of growth, and not one bit more. Don’t try to rush it. Don’t be so eager for what’s ahead that you miss the opportunities of what is around you now. Enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going. There are things for you to learn and do where you are that better prepare and enable you for greater things yet ahead.

My prayer for you today is: enjoy the journey and arrive successfully at your destiny.