Do you think of your age as just a number? Do you act your age? Do you feel your age? Do think that aging is just for cheese and wine? Do you think about these questions at all? What is age anyway? There is a saying that goes, “you are only as old as you feel.”
I guess right about now you are probably wondering why I am bringing up all of these questions about age. Well, because age has been on my mind lately. I turn 43 this year. I am officially middle-aged. All I can think of is “horrors!” When I was in high school there was this TV show called Thirtysomething. I never actually watched the show, but I remember thinking how far away that was for me. Now, I wistfully wish I was thirtysomething again.
If you are around my age and now in that “middle age” era of your life, another age-related thought that might be popping up in your mind is mid-life crisis. I have concluded that the reason most of us have a crisis, is for one of three reasons: 1) we can’t believe that we are in the middle of our lives (or that basically half of our lives are over), 2) we are not where we thought we would or should be at this point in our lives (be it personally or professionally or both), and 3) we don’t FEEL like we are middle aged. I mean, honestly, in my head I feel like I am about 28. It freaks me out to think that not only am I NOT 28, but I am also not even 38 anymore. Le sigh…
I had the realization that I don’t need to worry myself about my physical age. I mean, what’s the point? I can’t do much about it anyway, so, why worry about it? As the old saying goes, “it is what it is.” So, as for me and my physical self, we plan to just grow old gracefully.
Well, all of this thinking I have been doing lately on my physical age has led me to also think about my “spiritual” age. Where am I on the growth chart of God and knowing Him better? At this point in my spiritual development, I figure I am about the age of a toddler. I feel like I know just enough to toddle around and start digging into things and causing trouble! lol
Ok, not really, I am a bit better off than that. (Thank you, Lord, honestly for that.) But, I certainly have a long way to go.
I realized the other day that I need to grow up. I need to grow up in God. I need to be striving for His excellence, His love, His ways. I feel like “grow up” is an appropriate metaphor because if you were to ask me about God and where I think about Him being, my first thought is up in heaven. Above us. Up. So, I need to be like that beanstalk in” Jack and the Beanstalk” and be growing up, towards Him. (Now, since I have moved past the toddler stage of my spiritual development, I have, thankfully realized that not only is God in heaven, but He is here on earth too. He is everywhere if we open our eyes to Him. He is also in each and every one of us who believe in Him.)
The dictionary tells us that to “grow up” means to advance to maturity. I want to be mature in Christ. I want to be like God and have a godly character. Spiritual maturity is being like Christ.
So, how does this happen? Well, to put in bluntly, life happens. I think you know what I am talking about. Things happen in life that we do not like. Things happen in life that do not make sense to us. But, each of the problems we face in life are an opportunity for us to grow spiritually. They help us grow up. But, only IF, we trust God and depend on Him. God can use these experiences to help us grow.
And, most of the time, the way He teaches us about things is by putting us in situations that are in direct opposition to the qualities that we want. I mean, think about it. Have you ever prayed for patience and shortly thereafter you find yourself in a situation where you truly needed patience? This is God’s way of teaching you patience.
However, through all these storms we face in life, we can learn to depend on God for everything. We grow stronger during these storms. When we put our trust and faith in God, we grow up. God wants us to realize that He has and IS everything we need in this life. Think about that for a moment. God IS everything we need in this life. Pretty powerful, isn’t it?
I also need to point out that you can be a believer in the Lord, but never grow up spiritually. As Hebrews 5:12-13 tells us, “You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right.”
Isn’t this a horrible waste? It truly saddens me to think about how many Christians there are out there who really are just toddlers in their faith. There is so much potential and it is being wasted. God has great plans for you. Why not let Him do great things in your life? You only need to grow up!
I am going to leave you with some Bible verses that drive these points home. I hope you spend some time with these verses, and with your Bible in general, and let these verses marinate in your mind. And, I hope that will join me in growing up in God. It is a life-long process, but it will be well worth it.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:2-5
“We are not meant to remain as children but to grow up in every way into Christ.” Ephesians 4:14-15
"Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her."
"I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and be your Savior." Isaiah 46:4
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.