Christian Growth Use It or Lose It: How to Continue to Mature While Social Distancing
"For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abudance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him." Matthew 25:29 NIV
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Luke 12:48b NIV
The Best Laid Plans...
Before giving birth to my son, I insisted I was going to breastfeed exclusively. I wanted to give my baby the best I had to offer. I read everything I could find on breastfeeding. I questioned the only two breastfeeding mothers I knew about their experiences.
Still, I was unprepared. When the nurse at the hospital asked me if I wanted to be awakened twice in the wee hours of the morning or have them give him a bottle in the nursery, I let them feed him. I was in pain from the c-section. My legs were swollen to almost twice their size from the intravenous liquids I had been given. I had horrible gas pains that accompany abdominal surgery.
When I finally "recommitted" to breastfeeding I went about it halfheartedly -- it hurt!! And the engorgement that set in a few days after giving birth did not help at all.
Use It or Lose It
I made the decision that breastfeeding exclusively was not working so I would supplement with the bottle. It was not long before breastfeeding became the supplement, usually just to pacify him when he was upset. After a while, I noticed I was not producing as much milk. Little by little my breast milk began to dry up. It wasn't dramatic, like one day I could produce milk and the next day I could not. It was slow and subtle.
I learned that the more I nursed the more milk I produced. The less I nursed, hte less I produced. When I nursed on a regular basis, I would sometimes leak between feedings. But once I slacked up, the supply began to dry up. I realized that this was a "use it or lose it" situation. I lost it.
The Desert Place
I believe that Christianity operates on a similar principle. God gives me everything I need to nurture my spirituality. But if I don't take advantage of the opportunities He provides me with to minister and be ministered to, I can find myself moving further and further away from Him.
There will be fewer and fewer times of growth. And honestly, I will have less and less of a desire to grow. Getting up in the morning and not taking time to pray and read the Word because I have a busy schedule. "Oh, I will do it later." And then at bedtime, "There's always tomorrow."
Eventually, I can reach a point where I look around to find myself walking in a dry and barren desert, spiritually speaking. I know. I have been there. I looked around and saw where I was. I cried out to the Lord for help. And He was right there. He reached out to me, drawing me into His Presence as I began to flex my limp, spiritual muscles.
Nurturing My Spiritual Growth
"but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
Soon I found myself strengthened and ready to get back to the tasks at hand. Once again I could praise and worship Him in total abandon and joy. I started to talk to Him more often. I could read His Word and listen to Him in my spirit. I listened to teachings about Him and read what others have written about Him. I grew stronger.
Coronavirus and Social Distancing
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about getting back into the church building. I get it. People need people. And it has been difficult to stay at home and not be able to attend prayer meetings and church services.
I just want to encourage you. If you are at home and can not get to church, don't give up on God. He has put all that you need right at your fingertips!!
- Connect with others through social media. Encourage and pray for your friends and relatives online and let them know they are in your heart and thoughts.
- Attend live Sunday services. My church records their services but my mother's church down in South Carolina has live broadcasts so I can sit and enjoy and worship feeling almost like I am right there!
- In the mornings, I like to listen to Bible Scripture recordings on Youtube as I sip my coffee. I listen and take notes.
- During the week you can watch services on youtube. There are so many churches that are broadcasting on youtube that no matter what denomination you may be you have your pick.
- Order books either in print or digital through Amazon or even your local library. My library offers ebooks that can be borrowed electronically.
- Call a relative and catch up on how they are doing. If they are open to it pray with them over the phone. A short and encouraging prayer does wonders!
- Join a prayer line. Many churches and groups have prayer lines that you can call and connect with others as they pray together.
- Start your own group on Zoom or facebook live. Get together with others and do a Bible study or read a book and discuss it.
Seize The Day!
I hope you are encouraged as we await the changes regarding social distancing and church gatherings. Use this time wisely. You may have more time to study the Bible than ever before!!
© 2020 Veronica Lewis