But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (Colossians 3:18, NKJV).
I will never forget the first time someone told me that I was gentle. (I wish that I could tell you that it was a long time ago….) With incredulity, I asked her to repeat the compliment, certain that I had misheard her. Then, dumbfounded at the reiteration, I silently mused “Me!? Gentle!? Praise God!!” before grinning and offering thanks for the encouragement. And I say it again: Praise be to God that He is working in us, changing us, and transforming us ever so incrementally into the image of His dear Son!!
Are you like me? Do you ever get frustrated with yourself regarding what, from your perspective, seems to be molasses-slow spiritual growth or progress in a given area? I have, and at times still do. But when I reflect on truths such as the fact that I stand (and fall) in a grace-based relationship with my Father (Romans 8:1), that my times (in all spheres including growth) are in His hands (Psalm 31:15), and that while I age outwardly I am improving spiritually as He grows me by His grace, I encourage myself in the Lord and optimally position myself not just to grow, but to relish my Lord. Our faithful Father will perfect not only that which concerns us (Psalm 138:8); He will perfect us as well!
So what faults, sins, and shortcomings are you struggling with just now? Whatever they are, be encouraged that God is committed to perfecting each of His own (Philippians 1:6). The bottom line isn’t growth or victory – although don’t get me wrong – those are important. The bottom line is our extravagant God and what He has done, is doing, and will do, not just on a grand scale, but in each of our lives individually by His unrelenting, unfailing, unchanging, matchless grace.
Melissa Smith is the Women’s Enrich Counselor at America’s Keswick. She has the privilege and honor of ministering to the Colony men’s wives, fiancees and girlfriends, the Barbara’s Place women, and some women from the community who God brings to America’s Keswick for help or care. She and Bill, her husband of 18 years, have four adopted children ages 17 to 24. Her fervent desire is to point women to Christ and His sufficiency, provision, and promises.