Monday, August 1, 2016

The Goodness in Growth (Getting Mighty in the Lord)

We’re at our first outdoor swim meet. The water gleams still and smooth as the swimmers stand behind the blocks. The sun is high.  There’s quiet calm.

And when Gabriel takes the block, he’s confident. When he dives and breaks the water, his form is slim and sleek.

As my son moves down the lane, I remember his first meet. He’d been watching Sam for months and was excited to have his turn. But when he dove from the block, his arms and legs splayed frog-like.  He hit the water with a red-belly smack.

He’s grown so much.

He’s worked so hard.

Lap after lap. Day after day.

Watching Gabe inspires me. It causes me to consider the growth in my relationship with Lord. It challenges me to not stay in the same spiritual place. I want to grow in knowledge, strength, and sensitivity to the Spirit. I want to stretch in obedience and in trust. I want to grow to the point of peace, the kind that passes understanding, because there’s rest in the Lord’s Presence.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

This passage is underlined in my Bible. It’s scored over in neon-pink. It speaks to my soul. Paul offers encouragement to anchor and grow. Learning to live in Him takes us to new depths of grace.  When my faith grows stronger, gratitude grows, too. Learning to live and breathe in the peace of His Presence and brings joy to each day and light to any darkness.

But spiritual growth doesn’t just happen.

Like anything else, spirit-growth takes dedication. Time. Focused attention and deliberate choice. It’s a willingness to open the Word and sit at the Lord’s feet. It’s choosing to know Him, to talk with Him, to rest in His Presence and seek His face.

A thriving, growing relationship with the Lord takes dedication and time, but the reward is the sweetest under heaven.

Gabriel pulls himself from the pool. He walks toward his coach, and I see his time on the scoreboard. He’s a young swimmer in his division, but he skimmed a few seconds off his record. Gabe’s coach offers instruction, and my boy smiles as he makes his way to us, leaving wet prints on warm cement.

And prayer, bright as the day, beats through my heart…

Lord, may we always grow…


  1. So many times I've spiritual belly-smacks. I've run full speed and jumped in, doing things my way without praying first. It's painful to be hardheaded. :/

    Thank you for this, Shawnelle. Such a beautiful analogy.

    Love you dearly,

    1. Thanks, Julie, for the encouragement! Oh yes, I can understand. Sometimes it's so easy to just react...we're getting there! Love you dearly too...

  2. Beautiful. Love these moments of God in your life! Thank you!

  3. Thank you, B.J. I love you! Miss you....