A strange thing happens when we, as adults, visit the places of our childhood.
Somehow we remember those places and people as being much bigger when we were children. The swing was much higher off the ground. Jumping from the barn loft was scarier. Climbing over the fence was like scaling the walls of Jericho. Jumping across the ditch was death-defying. But when we return to those places, everything’s smaller and easier.
I grew up just a few miles from the Atlantic shore. My first experience swimming in the ocean was frightening. The towering waves knocked me over and tumbled me like a kid stuck in a side-loader washing machine. I wanted no more of the ocean. “It’s too dangerous,” I thought.
A year later I gave the ocean another chance. But somehow the waves had become smaller and more manageable. What happened? Had some climate change occurred? What made the ocean so much calmer and the waves so much smaller? Nothing at all. They were just as big as before. I had simply grown and my growth had made them smaller.
The Scripture speaks of growth—spiritual growth, growth in faith and wisdom, growth that helps us overcome temptations today that conquered us a year ago (Eph. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18). We are also told that “God causes the growth” in our lives (1 Cor. 3:7).
This should be a great comfort to us. Failure today does not mean there’s no tomorrow. As we put our faith in Him, follow Him, feed upon His holy word, and drink of His Spirit, God will bring about growth in our lives. And this growth will make us victorious over the giants that defeated us in the past.
Dear Father in heaven, take me from weakness to strength, from doubt to faith, and from defeat to victory. Cause me to grow in faith, wisdom, and love. Conform me, O God, into the image of Your holy Son. Amen.