Life had taken a sad turn. My job of six years was now gone. Searching for a job became a discouraging challenge. Months went by before a call finally came from a school district 40 miles away wanting to know if I’d be interested in working as a teacher’s assistant. At this point I was willing to try anything. Little did I know the children I’d be working with were autistic. Their bodies were the normal size for their age, but their actions weren’t. Only one could go to the bathroom by himself. The others wore diapers. At their age, they should have been talking, but all they could do was make sounds. When other kids were watching movies and playing video games, they wanted to watch Barney the purple dinosaur. Normal children their age could feed themselves, but these children had to be spoon fed like babies.
The recipients of this letter had been believers for many years. So long, in fact, that they should have known God’s Word well enough to teach others. But they couldn’t. They were still babies. They needed children’s Bible stories when they should have been teaching others the meat portions of God’s Word. They needed bottle feeding instead of spoon feeding.
Growing up is fun but challenging and difficult as well. Many times I’ve wished I could return to the younger years when Mom and Dad took care of everything. Growing up in Christ is no different. Physical growth happens naturally; spiritual growth takes effort. I won’t grow if I don’t try. Doing so requires I be countercultural. I can’t sand with the grain because according to Jesus most of the grains are going in the wrong direction. Through spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, meditation, and fellowship with like minded believers, I train my conscience to be sensitive to the pricking of God’s Spirit. This takes time, but the reward is that I’ll grow up in Christ and be used in ways I wouldn’t be had I remained a babe. No longer will I be blown about by every new teaching that comes along. Neither will I find myself continually falling to the temptations of Satan. I will have matured.
What’s your spiritual age?
Prayer: Prod us, merciful Lord, to grow up in our faith walk so we can be useful instruments of Yours.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and tangle_eye.)