The Process of Growth

By Corey Cauthen

Admit it, if you could have anything or do anything within an instant of that desire, wouldn’t you?
When I was little, maybe 7 or 8, I vividly remember my dad being able to make it stop raining instantly. We’d be driving on the highway, and I in the backseat of his truck, staring out the window thinking all the deep thoughts a 3rd grader has: “How am I gonna sneak extra snacks into my room after dinner?” and “Remember to face the wall when acting asleep so mom can’t tell that I’m still awake.” I’d always stay up past my bedtime to play my Nintendo DS and when my mom would check to see if I was asleep, I’d start smiling cause I knew I had been caught, not to mention mom could probably hear the muffled Mario Kart theme song coming from under my pillow.

Anyways, back to my dad’s superpowers. He leans back and says “Corey, do you think I can make it stop raining?”. “Like right now?” I responded in disbelief. All he says is “Watch this.” He snaps his fingers and for a few seconds the rain actually stops! He then snaps his fingers again and the rain continues to fall. I remember just my cheeks hurting from cheesing so hard.  Being so young, things like absolutes and reason weren’t concepts to me yet; also why would I care? Superheroes were real and my Dad was one of them!

How convenient would it be if we could be like my dad and instantly change our situation? 

Here’s the thing, God could snap His fingers and give us anything we wanted. He could completely change our lives, and change who we are into our perfect version of ourselves (which by the way, He wants to and has the capacity to bless us like that). That being said, He isn’t a genie stuck in a lamp with X amount of wishes with loopholes to exploit for infinite wishes. He is God our Father, who desires very much a relationship with us! I believe He values what happens between the prayer and the answer. 

For a long time, my prayers consisted of asking God to make me more patient, and wise, to be kind and loving, and to know the right thing to say and when to say it. The list goes on. What I didn’t realize was that I was asking God to take me through situations, which were opportunities to choose to become what I was praying to be more of. This meant I had to make a conscious effort to practice these virtues in my day-to-day life. Regardless of how my day was or what mood I was in, choosing patience over irritability or kindness over selfishness was how I grew.
James 1:2-4 tells us that there is a purpose in the process. Going through a process of growth is hard, and sometimes annoying, but it is essential! We are encouraged in Galatians 6:9 to not give up when it gets hard. Isaiah 43:2 says we won’t be overcome by what we walk through in life. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 lets us know that when we are our weakest the power of God is made perfect!

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. – Isaiah 43:2

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Are you going to pray for the process and choose to walk with God as He changes you and your life right in front of your eyes? Wherever you are in life, know that it is God’s will for you to be the best you can be and for your life to be the best it can be! When you ask God to grow you in life, He doesn’t just leave you to figure it out yourself; He is walking with you every step of the way!

June 1, 2024