Were you ever the new kid at school?
It’s hard enough getting adjusted to new kids, teachers and classes…but when it really hits…is lunch time.
WHO DO I SIT WITH??
Now that I’ve traumatized you with a middle school flashback, fast forward with me to a couple of months ago.
Our department at work hosts a lunch for anyone celebrating a birthday that particular month. So, in September, I went. Got to my table. And waited.
And waited some more. And then, I waited some more.
No one else showed up.
Usually, there are about 10 people who attend in September including the “hostess” from the department. But even she wasn’t there. I checked with the attendant who confirmed that I was at the right table, on the right date at the right time.
By this time, I was hungry and decided this Indian girl was gonna have her free lunch with or without anyone else. So, I did.
I told my husband the story and he felt sorry for me. I thought it was hilarious.
It’s funny how I was able to handle this situation now compared to when I was younger. When I was a kid, sitting by myself to have lunch would have been the end of the world. Now, the only thing that came to an end was my lunch break.
Being a grown-up ain’t so bad.
I started thinking about how I’ve grown in my life as a believer. Do the things that bothered me 20 years ago still bother me? Do I still respond to situations the same way I did 10 years ago?
Do I hear God’s voice a little more clearly now than I use to? Am I quicker to obey when He tells me to do something? Do I read the Word a little more deeply?
There’s an apostle who went through his own growing pains: Peter.
This man seemed to speak first, think later. He sank when he was supposed to walk, slept when he should pray and denied knowing Jesus when he should have proclaimed it.
Fast forward in scripture, and we see a completely different man. A man who encountered the Holy Spirit, spread the good news of the resurrection and paid the ultimate sacrifice for his faith.
As believers, we are expected to grow. Hebrews 5:12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.
So, if you can sit by yourself at a table and have lunch isn’t really the point. The real question is are you and I the same people we were when we first started our Christian journey?
Pastor Andy Stanley gives us 5 tools for growth as a believer:
- Practical teaching – Church services, podcasts – listen to it while you work or while you fold the clothes; attend Bible studies (I happen to know of a pretty good one in the Dallas area ;-)).
- Providential relationships – Surround yourself with people of faith so you can grow your faith and be a person of faith to someone else. I think about the people in my life – my parents, Sunday school teachers and pastors, my family & friends who encourage me along the way…without these relationships, I would not be who I am today.
- Private Disciplines – Are you praying? Are you reading the Word? Before you know it, 2017 will be here – can I challenge you to read through the Bible next year? It isn’t about legalism, it is about incorporating an important habit in our lives. It is our daily bread that builds our spiritual body.
- Personal Ministry – Are you serving? Andy Stanley puts it like this, “Personal ministry enables us to experience God’s power in our weakness. We may feel ill-equipped and unprepared, but these opportunities are incredibly rich experiences through which God grows our faith.” I’ve experienced this while serving in W&F. When I write a post or teach, I am praying a little more, digging a little deeper and trusting God a whole lot.
- Pivotal Circumstances – Whatever happens, good or bad, is a “divine opportunity in the development of our confidence in God.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. 8 For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.
P.S. Just in case you were feeling sorry for me too, the hostess eventually showed up :-).