A couple of weeks ago my two sisters and brother and I visited my parents for a special family catch up. As we sat around the living room we realised that this was the first time in 25 years that we had been together, just as a core family without spouses or grandkids or friends. It felt a bit odd with just us kids and mum and dad again after nearly a quarter of a century. However things were different now. We were adults who had lived a lot of life and no longer self-centred teenagers who treated home something like a free B&B. As we reflected and talked I realised that we all appreciated mum and dad a lot more and that our relationships with them and each other were much more mature and adult. It was different but in a good way.
As another year has passed and we reflect on our journey with God I hope that we can look back and see that we have also grown in our relationship with him as our heavenly Father. As each year passes and we grow in our faith and spiritual maturity, God wants us to move from being “infants” as Paul describes, to sons and daughters who have a deeper and more mature relationship with Him. I have been a Christian for about 30 years now and don’t treat God like I used to when I was younger. My relationship with him is deeper and more thankful, despite the struggles and trials of life that have come my way. Yes there are more “shades of grey”, but there are also more vibrant colours as I have learned to walk with Him. I no longer expect things of him that are motivated by my own selfish desires. I understand the value of suffering and know that God uses difficult times to grow me and bring me closer to himself if I will allow him.
The longer and deeper the relationship, the greater the trust and love that grows as we share experiences, both difficult and joyful. We need to be “bigger on the inside” than we are on the outside. As we grow in our relationship with God then he can fill us more with his Spirit, and out of that flow to others around us who need his love. This year my prayer is that individually and as a community we will grow into a greater maturity of faith as we walk with Jesus. That we might grow bigger on the inside and be filled more and more with the Holy Spirit. Not only that we might be blessed but that God might overflow through us to a needy and hurting world.
Grace and Peace – Garry