I think when we get started on this journey with God we think we will never stop growing in faith. Somewhere along the way, though, we tend to get a little sidetracked and busy, and get lost in the growth stages. But, friend, it is never too late to return. It is never too late to start growing with Him again.
Well, we made it! Day 30 of the 30 Days of Prayer is upon us. If you have stuck with me throughout the entire series, I applaud you! If not, no fret, the series is posted on its own page, so you can go back at any time to pick up right where you left off.
On this final day of the prayer series, it felt fitting to lean into a final reminder that we all benefit from; that we never stop growing in faith.
Have your cup o’ (fill in the blank with hot liquid of choice)? I’ve got mine, and it’s time to dive.
30 Days of Prayer: Pray to Never Stop Growing in Faith (Day 30)
How old were you when you came to know God, embrace His Son, and begin this journey of faith with Him? Were you brought up in the Church, or did you come in as an adult?
I was brought up without truly understanding the fullness of all that God offered in Jesus. My private school education did not equip me to connect intimately with a loving Abba but rather focused more heavily on the rules and rituals of the religion.
Suffice it to say I did not truly meet God until I was 18 and leaving home for the Navy. And, oh what a journey it’s been.
We’ve been through many valleys and mountaintops, and every step of the way has been one learning opportunity after another. I’ve been tired and drained and just ready to quit on numerous occasions. Thankfully, though, we serve a God of incredible patience and compassion. He has never left me in my lowest times, but rather came alongside of me to comfort me and sit with me when I needed to rest.
God is the most extreme example of long-suffering. He is so patient with us that we can hardly fathom it.
During these most intense times and seasons, it is easy in the flesh to think about just giving up. To call it quits on this whole faith thing, because “everyone else is living this “super easy” and burden-less life, while I suffer. How is that right?!”
As we go through this faith walk with the Lord, we will experience quite the gamut of intense emotions and experiences, some of which may leave us raw and empty for a time.
It is during these dark and emptying seasons that we experience some of His greatest lessons on love and empathy for our human suffering.
I know in these seasons it is tempting to give up, but lean into the arms of your Abba. He is able to hold you, even when you cannot stand. These seasons of trial are our greatest assets when it comes to learning how to “walk as Jesus did.”
I know we know the idea of His love, but until you’ve sinned in a way that grieves your soul and then you are forgiven you cannot understand grace and forgiveness deeply enough to truly extend it to others. Until you have lost loved ones, it is very difficult to empathize with someone going through that kind of pain.
But, this is the glory of our Mighty God. He did not see fit to separate Himself from us but rather descended to become like us as a human so that in His fullness He could know us and in His humility we could know Him.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.” ~ Phil. 2: 5-11
This is our Abba. His Love is so great that He “made Himself nothing” in the form of Christ. Wow.
This is why we can cry out to Him because He knows our pain intimately. He felt it. For this reason, we can come to Him without shame since He was our shame. He bore it.
And, He knows all so well the weight of the crosses that this life will bring upon our shoulders. He surely carried His cross, too.
In the midst of our struggles, He is with us. When we grow tired, He stands strong. If we are ready to throw in the towel and give up, He comforts us.
These times of struggle are our greatest fortifiers to connect us with the intimate Love of our Abba. At the beginning of the walk, we know this Love by word alone. As we walk, we get to know it intimately by experiencing it over and over and over again.
Just like at the beginning of a relationship with a potential spouse, we are told of a lot of amazing attributes about the person. It is a whole other thing, though, to experience these things through a growing relationship of intimacy together.
This is what the faith walk offers. It is this, right here, that we have available to us with our God: a chance to know Him intimately in His perfection so that we might see ourselves through His gaze.
And there is no greater gift than that.
Abba, thank You for this gift to walk with You more closely these 30 days. Let me not ever stop. May the intentions I began in these days be brought back to mind as I grow in and learn them. Plant them deep into my heart so that I may be blessed from their fruit.
Continue to remind me of Your ever-present Love for me, and that YOU are strong enough to uphold me when I am weak and unable to stand. Be my strength.
Fill me when I am empty. Pour me up with Your continuous stream of living water. And, speak Your amazing grace to me in the times when I fail and fall hard.
I want nothing more than to continue to grow in You. Help me to mature in all things that reflect You more and more each day. May I be like a plant grown up, prosperous in Your garden of glory; an ever-fruitful vine of Your majesty within this world. More of You and less of me…always. In Yeshua’s name, amen.
Sweet sister, don’t ever stop leaning in. I know you may grow tired some days. Rest in Him. There will be times when we just want to stop and run. Run to Him. I’m convinced trials and suffering will come. He is with you.
’Til the end of days, His peace remains.