Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him.
– Acts 17:27 (MSG)
When my youngest daughter was about five years old, she told me one day that she had no interest in learning to drive. In Natalee’s mind, the steps required to operate a vehicle felt like way too many. All those pedals, all that wheel turning, all those colored lights and street signs to watch for. It’s a big, powerful machine that has to be driven with care, and my girl wanted to cross it off her list of things to learn.
I chuckled at her thoughts, knowing that in ten short years, she would be chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel and feel the freedom that comes with learning to drive, going to and fro without relying on others to transport you. And, I told her, that was the natural order of things: mommies and daddies are called to raise up the babies they are given to be productive, contributing, thoughtful members of society and leave the proverbial nest one day.
Faith is pretty similar to learning to drive. If you think about it, we really teach kids to drive in stages, starting when they are very young, way before they can even apply for that learner’s permit………
-First are the Big Wheels. It’s low to the ground and not all that fast, but they learn to use motor skills and how to steer.
-Up next is the tricycle. This is higher up from the ground, but still pretty safe because of those training wheels. This one teaches kids to balance on less wheel surface.
-Once they master balance, we take the training wheels off! Bikes are much harder to manage than a tricycle, with challenging elements such as gravel and puddles. They have to learn about breaking, speed and judging how deeply to lean in on turns.
-Finally, we hop inside a car with our teenagers. We like to start in a big, empty parking lot where we can navigate terrain, potholes and speed bumps with relative safety. But the challenges of driving amongst other drivers, especially in face of inclement weather and rogue animal, are very real. We have to be diligent and alert, as we seek to marry the power of the machinery with the training we’ve received and take charge.
Faith is the same, growing in stages. We start out as newborns, making a decision that has the power to alter our lives, but not fully knowing the depth of all the facets. We transition through to become toddlers, then teenagers, and finally, mature believers, grown up into the fullness of Christ. As we grow, we master balance, when to move forward, when to wait, when to lean in and how to lock our eyes onto God. Father has grace for each stage, but He never longs for us to become stuck in one stage. In fact, though we all have unique purposes set apart for us, one is universal: to know God as intimately as possibly, more and more each day. We were created for it.
~ Mande Saitta, Lifegate Women
Do you find yourself going through long droughts when it comes to spending time with the Lord? Ask Father to reveal a time each day when you can make space to be with Him and Him alone. Keep a journal of your time together.