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Bumps along the way...

As I begin this blog post, I hear my granddaughter crying...  A result of another bump along the way...  Lexi began crawling just a little over a week ago, exploring a whole new world as she independently moves herself around.   Not only is she crawling, but she is already trying to stand up using furniture to achieve that goal.

Parents and grandparents try to stay two steps ahead of little ones as they begin this new stage in their development.  But even with diligent watchcare, bumps are inevitable.   It's heartbreaking to hear our precious children and grandchildren cry after a bump, we quickly scoop them up to comfort them, bringing a smile to their little faces once again.  And then, as if they never got hurt, the baby heads right back over to the same spot, attempting to do the same thing that caused the bump in the first place.

It feels like just a few short months ago Lexi was a newborn, dependent on her momma for everything - nourishment every 2-3 hours, receiving 24 hour care.  All her needs were met. She felt secure and safe in the arms of those who love her dearly.

Of course at seven months old, Lexi is still dependent on her parents for everything, yet there is a certain independence that she is indeed experiencing.  Sitting, crawling, standing up and eventually walking, she will seek to exercise her independence more and more...

There are certainly benefits to independence at this age as baby's fine and gross motor skills become honed and perfected.  Their little brains developing exponentially as they meet each milestone.

With baby's new found independence comes a strong will, a desire to have their own way.  Parents are already finding the need to correct their innocent sweet children to protect and guide them.  Other times, baby learns the hard way by experiencing bumps along the way...

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My own new birth, and the days, weeks, months and first years following, remind me of my granddaughter's first seven months...

My favorite place to be as a new believer was close to my Heavenly Father.  I couldn't get enough time with Him.   I read my Bible morning, noon and night, wanting to learn as much as I could about the One who saved me.

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, 
that by it you may grow up into salvation—
1 Peter 2:2

I clung to God in prayer, feeling profound comfort and peace...

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; 
like a weaned child I am content.
Psalm 131:2

I was at church every time the doors were open, attending Sunday School, Worship Service and Bible study.  If for some reason I was unable to attend a Wednesday evening service, I would crave that mid-week spiritual shot in the arm.


Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, 
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:25

I was growing exponentially in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith
Colossians 2:7

But then after that initial growth spurt, I started to live my life independently, not including God in my day to day activities...  It was actually at a time when I should have remained wholly dependent on Him...  when I became a Pastor's wife...

My husband was called to be a bi-vocational Pastor at a local country church.  He answered the call, and we left the church that we attended for seven years - the church where I grew exponentially in my knowledge of the Scriptures, Doctrine and Theology; where I attended Sunday School, Worship Service and Bible studies.

The church we were called to serve at was a tough assignment.  A majority of the congregants were not believers and were set in their ways.  My husband, with the help of the Lord, tried very hard to gently move the church in a healthy direction, trying to establish Sunday School and Bible studies to encourage a love for the Word of God.  But after two years, a mutual decision was made between the church leaders and my husband to part ways.

I was caught up in the struggle of those two years, trying to do things in my own strength rather than remembering the peace that comes from fully depending on God...

My spiritual independence caused my first bump along the way...

I'm not sure why I don't learn.  I am like my granddaughter going back to the same coffee table, trying to stand up in my own strength, bumping myself as I go, feeling the pain...



There seem to be seasons where I foolishly become independent from a spiritual discipline...

The not devoting enough time in daily prayer season.  The resulting bumps along the way...
  • feeling far from God
  • feeling spiritually dry
  • lost connection with brothers and sisters in the Lord
  • tendency to fall quickly into sin
  • enslavement to control
  • the angst of self-centerdness
The not spending quality time in the Word season.  The resulting bumps along the way...
  • tendency to worry
  • feelings of anxiousness
  • a lack of trust in God
  • a desensitization to temptation
  • stagnation in spiritual growth
The not spending time serving beside my brothers and sisters in the Lord season.  The resulting bumps along the way...
  • feeling distanced from fellow believers
  • lost opportunities for kindred friendships
  • lost opportunities to be sharpened
  • lost opportunities to do the works the Lord set aside for me before the worlds began...
  • isolation
  • more stagnation in spiritual growth
  • acting like the world
The sad thing is, it's not like I woke up one morning and consciously said, "I'm not going to pray anymore"  or "I'm not going to spend time in the Word"...  Yet aren't I indeed doing just that... Choosing to do everything else in my busy day and not devoting time for prayer, time in the Word and time for Christian service.

I began this blog ten months ago because I was growing weary of the bumps along the way...  I felt the Lord calling me to start blogging in an effort to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, to immerse myself in His Word, to be edified by the posts of fellow Christian bloggers, and to allow Him to teach as He leads me to write from week to week.

I wish I could say that I am daily praying, reading Scripture and serving.  Since beginning this blog, my life has gotten a thousand times busier!  All good things and ministries in and of themselves.  But I still seem to be in a spiritual funk...

Yet as the Lord led me through the writing of this particular blog post, I see now how much I am hurting myself.  I am basically standing in my own way and have placed myself in this spiritual funk.  All the areas that I struggle with personally are a result of  repeated  bumps at the coffee table where I am continually asserting my spiritual independence...

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.
Proverbs 26:11

There is much foolishness in living a life spiritually independent from God.  We don't want to become so independent that the Lord leaves us to our folly...

So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.
Psalm 81:12

Oh that we would be quick learners, following the counsel of the Lord and not of our own hearts.

I sought the Lord and He showed me spiritual band-aids to apply to the bumps I received trying to do things apart from God...

In His mercy, He whispered in my ear, this is the way, walk in it...  Just like a parent re-directing a child from the coffee table...

The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
Psalm 145:18

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, 
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
Proverbs 28:13

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, 
that He may exalt you at the proper time,
1 Peter 5:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
Proverbs 3:5

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:15-16

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 
2 Peter 3:18

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching 
and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
 singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

Iron sharpens iron,
    and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them
Romans 12:6

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
1 Peter 4:10

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2


The world today prides itself on being independent.  But we as believers are called to total and complete dependence on God so that His mighty works will be glorified through us.

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God
 like a little child will never enter it."
Luke 18:17


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Comments

  1. Dear Karen ... what a beautiful analogy ... our little ones' bumps and bruises, and our own in the spiritual journey. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I really appreciated the way you itemized the challenges and the learnings from your faith journey.

    Blessings to you. So grateful to have met you this past week!

    ;-}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda, Thank you for your kind words.

      Praising God that He can use His lessons in my life to helps others in their faith walk.

      The feeling is mutual Linda! :-) Blessings to you too!

      Delete
  2. Oh, dear Karen! How very true your words! I thought about how frustrated we feel, as parents, (or grandparents), to stand by and watch our precious little ones continually and willfully disobey us and stray into forbidden territory, only to experience the very pain and bumps we warned them about. How we must frustrate God in the same way! His loving heart must break as we fall and wound ourselves after walking contrary to what He is telling us to do. I could so relate to this post, and I loved all of the precious Scriptures you shared. You may feel that you are in a spiritual funk, but let me just encourage you that you are accomplishing much for God. Your posts have a spiritual depth to them that is so needed, and may God just continually pour into you, as you pour into us. I trust you will feel Him extra close to you today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl, Thank you for sharing your heart here.

      And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your words of encouragement. They mean so much to me and bolstered my faith walk.

      You are a cheerleader for Christ and for fellow believers every day. What a blessing it is to know you! :-)

      Delete
  3. So much truth and great comparison! I remember those first few weeks of a new crawler (and walker!). Enjoy her!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anastasia, Thank you for your kind words!

      I am!! :-)

      Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  4. Those bumps - do they ever stop? What a gently led reminder to stay in close relationship to him to avoid them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So very true.

      Thank you so much for sharing your heart and visiting here today. :-)

      Delete
  5. Ah, what an apt analogy. It's so easy to think that we can do everything on our own power and get sucked into the rat race of trying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      Indeed it is. So grateful that we have a Heavenly Father who is so very patient with us.

      Thanks so much for visiting. :-)

      Delete

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