Monday, May 20, 2013

Growing

A dear friend recently sent me a birthday gift -- a glass teapot that came with a selection of blooming herbal tea pods.  This lovely flower started as a tight little green ball.  When I placed it in the glass teapot and poured boiling water over it, the pod began opening up and bloomed into this lovely and very fragrant flower.  The tea has a light, subtle green tea flavor.  Thank you, Laurrine, for such a wonderful gift!

As I watched this tight green ball expand and grow into something beautiful, it reminded me of how we as Christians should grow in our relationship with God.  God wants us to blossom for His glory.  Paul says, "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved" 2 Corinthians 2:15.  Just as this flower is fragrant, we are to give off the very fragrance of the Lord in the way we live our lives.

When we are born onto this earth, we don't come out a baby and immediately sprout up into a full-grown adult.  It takes 20, 30 and for some, even 40 years to become an adult.  The same is true of Christians.  When we are born again by the Spirit, we don't immediately go from a babe in Christ to a mature Christian.  It takes years and decades, and -- the truth is, we will never become fully mature in Christ until we step into Heaven.  Writer T.W. Hunt calls stepping into heaven - our graduation day.  We graduate from what we might term "the school of hard knocks" here on earth, and step into our reward and the completion of our struggle for maturity.  That doesn't mean we won't still be learning new things in heaven.  It just means we won't have to struggle.  We'll be able to learn new things with a perfect brain, perfect memory, and perfect understanding of what we're studying.  Neither will there be any stress or distraction to dull our abilities.  Learning new things will become a great joy.

I want to grow in Christ until the day I die.  I want to be like that bloom for His glory -- even when I'm swimming in hot water like our little green tea pod.  I delight to think that my life might waft the sweet fragrance of Christ toward someone who needs a breath of fresh, Godly air in this world that too often stinks of sin.

Thank you, Lord, for this glorious promise:  "...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"  2 Corinthians 3:18

 

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