Welcome to the new year! I shared with you in my Christmas blog post that I thought I had gained five pounds. Unfortunately, it was more like ten! In January, I find most people, including myself, are looking forward with great anticipation, hope, and expectancy for the year ahead. They are making resolutions to better themselves in a plethora of different ways. For some people, these goals are spiritual, such as reading through the entire Bible within the year. For others, their goals are health related, such as eating better and finally getting into shape.
For me, looking down at my now plump tummy, I decided to get my butt in gear, get back into the gym, and lose some of this holiday weight. Though I have this resolution, I sincerely hate getting back into a workout routine. Everything seems ten times more difficult than when I stopped. However, knowing it will be worth it in the long run, I persevere. After two or three days I feel like I'm getting skinnier. Feeling more confident, I mention this to my wife. She quickly quips back, “You look the same to me!” In an instant, all my newly-gained confidence gushes out of me, and I am deflated!
The truth is, when you begin working out, especially after a long hiatus, the change does happen quickly, it just happens on the inside first. You can feel it. You know that something is happening. Unfortunately, those on the outside are not able to see what you feel.
This concept mirrors spiritual growth. You may have set a spiritual goal this year and are trying to push into it. Maybe you are finding it difficult to pray for a certain amount of time, or read the required number of chapters per day to get through the Bible in the year. You may be persisting and feeling a change on the inside, but perhaps there has been no expression of fruit on the outside. I encourage you to take heart and continue to persevere.
In the Bible, it says you will know a tree by its fruit (Matthew 12:33). It is no coincidence this analogy uses a tree. The majority of a tree’s growth happens internally, where no one can see it. Though the only time external signs of growth are visible is in spring, and the only time the fruit can be enjoyed is at harvest, most of the growth happens during the winter season. It is in the winter season that the internal growth takes place, and the roots grow deeper to make the tree stronger. Without this season, that fruit could never have been produced, nor supported.
So if you are pushing into God, believing for more, believing for signs, wonders, and miracles, do not give up! The fruit will come--it will just come in the right season. He is faithful. I believe 2017 will be an incredible year of not just breakthrough, but break forth!
Thank you for reading and God bless!