By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
We were lost.
We had already gotten a late start when leaving for Gatlinburg, but taking a wrong turn made us even later. The GPS had lost its signal at a crucial moment and I had to decide: left or right. I chose wrong.
That wrong turn took us up and up and up a winding road through the Smokey Mountains. The GPS had said we were five minutes from Gatlinburg, but we’d been driving now for twenty minutes, and the familiar city was nowhere in sight.
Yep, definitely lost.
I finally made the executive decision that we should turn around and go back the way we came. Heading back down the mountain seemed to take forever. Someone in the car spoke up, “I didn’t think we were this lost. You don’t realize how far you’ve come until you’ve got to go back the way you came.”
In life, it’s hard for us to realize how far we’ve come. But understanding and seeing the past work of God in our lives is essential to envisioning where he wants to take us.
In order to see the distance we’ve traversed, we have to stop, in the middle of the crazy seasons of life, and take time to reflect on how far God’s brought us.
Even now, if you thought about it, you are way different from the person you were ten years ago. In that time, God’s changed you and grown you. He’s taught you difficult lessons and pruned away impurities.
He’s grown you, and you didn’t even know it.
Ask me, a 6’ 5” dude, when exactly it was that I finally reached that height. I couldn’t tell you.
We don’t realize how much we’ve grown until we look back at where we were and compare it with where we are.
Growth and maturity takes time. No one becomes a faith-filled, superstar Christian in a day. It takes the transformation and daily shaping of the Holy Spirit. To become who God wants us to be, it means we have to weather the coming storms and seasons along with us, allowing him to use adversity to shape our character.
God is growing you and shaping you right now, and you may not even realize it. He’s preparing you for what’s ahead. He’s strengthening you for what your going to face. Giving you the gifts you will need to use to fulfill his plan.
All he requires of us is commitment, humility, and openness. He will handle the transformation.
Being a Christian is living a life in constant tension–looking back at how far God has brought us and giving him praise, but also looking forward to where he wants to take us and giving him our lives.