There’s a lot I’m learning personally that is helping in my walk with God, but it can all be pushed aside if not helpful to others.
Lately, it would seem God is showing me more emphatically, the overarching purpose of our physical existence. These are questions that have been on my heart lately:
Why would God create us into such a painful existence if he loves us like he claims? Why not just create us in a better existence, especially knowing what we would go through?
There’s the issue of man’s free will and at the same time there’s the issue of God’s sovereign will. How can both be true without conflicting with each other? Perhaps this is part of the reason we exist as we do.
For some reason, God keeps nudging me back towards gardening concepts. In my last writing, I mentioned how Paul seems to intimate, in 1 Cor 15, that our mortal body is but a seed, planted in the physical realm. Inside, we grow spiritually until the time of our passing, in which our spiritual self emerges in what we know as the heavenly realm. Creation of the seed is a very intricate process, undoubtedly fearful and wonderful. How beautiful, then, would the cultivation process be from Father’s perspective?
I know beauty is a hard word to associate with the pains of this life, but I’ve noticed, as I rest in the Holy Spirit, as I keep my eyes of Jesus, even the most painful times are only temporary. Jesus is always there pouring out Father’s love on me.
In this, I’m beginning to see tidbits of the process. As we draw closer to Father, we become more shunned by those holding the worldly views of success—and even many of those holding views of what it means to be a good Christian. However, this has only seemed to help me grow spiritually by not trusting in such systems, but trusting in Jesus instead.
It’s like soil. Without it, cultivating a seed becomes much more difficult. The soil supplies nutrients that a plant needs to thrive. Without the “dirtiness” of soil, we wouldn’t have plants. It’s not the seed itself that grows and develops, it’s what is inside the seed. The seed eventually “dies” so that the plant itself grows and blossoms. The product of this growth has many similarities to the seed and can still even be considered the seed itself, yet the seed has given way to the birth of the plant.
We may consider the seed important, and indeed it is. In context, though, I would consider the physical as minute when compared with the spiritual. A grain of sand is to the beach as our physical body is to the potential of our spiritual one.
Likewise, it seems the dirtiness of this physical existence contains the essential nutrients for our spiritual growth. While we often attempt to avoid and push these circumstances away, it can greatly impede us. We need the living water Jesus provides as well as the Sonshine :). This isn’t to say that God causes our situations for our growth. He, indeed, weeps along side us in those growing pains. However, he’s planted us in the dirt in order for us to grow for him. He allows us to grow, or not, as we choose, regardless of how painful the process may be for us….and him. This brings me to another point – correcting our growth, or lack thereof.
The classical Greek concept of this word refers to the horticulture term we know as pruning (ref). While the Koine Greek doesn’t directly translate like this, we can see the inference. The word takes on more of a meaning of corrective punishment (pruning), for the benefit of the one being punished—not for the one doing the punishing. In this case, all the dead trapping that weight down one’s spirit from growth can be cut away (pruned) so that new growth can take its place. While this process was painful (and still is when I need it again), it is something that I’ve come to be grateful for—that Father is always seeking to help me grow spiritually and not stagnate and wither.
I often wondered why I had to be so shunned and feel so accursed. Now I’m beginning to know that it was all just steps in the process of spiritual growth. I couldn’t grow further until those dead trappings I’d been inundated with from birth were cut away. However, it doesn’t seem that God will correctively prune us, in this physical world, until we are ready. Likewise, we can’t take others where they aren’t ready to go. We can, however, walk alongside them in love, in hopes that spiritual awakening will being to transpire by the Holy Spirit’s nudging of their heart.