Day 56 – A Matter of Time
Brother Lawrence wrote about a Christian: “It seems like her heart is in the right place, but she wants to advance faster than grace would allow. You don’t become a saint in a day! . . . Since in his mercy he still gives us a little time, let’s take advantage of it! We can make up for lost time and return to this Father of goodness with complete trust. He is always ready to receive us lovingly.”
Brother Lawrence balances the matter of time in our spiritual growth.
On the one hand, “You don’t become a saint in a day!” Being transformed into the image of Christ takes time.
We want to grow faster than grace will allow. Like a tree that grows too quickly and less solidly, it’s more likely to come crashing down in a storm. With difficulty, for example, we learn that suffering and cross bearing are profound teachers that produce long lasting benefits.
Though our conversion to Christ can be dramatic and people notice changes in our lives, we may not yet be aware of deeper issues of the soul.
Like King Saul, the Spirit of the Lord may came powerfully upon us and change us into a different person (1 Samuel 10:6, 9). But like King Saul, we may fail to let God do a complete work within us (1 Samuel 13:13; 18:9; 19:9-10; 24:17; 26:21).
Though we are called “holy people” (Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:2), becoming a holy person takes time. We can’t rush true heart change.
On the other hand, “We can make up for lost time and return to this Father of goodness with complete trust.” It’s never too late to start doing what is right.
Whenever we repent, we begin again and anew with a clean slate. Even wasted years can be recovered. God promises, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25, ESV).
Take advantage of the grace given you. “Be taken forward to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1).
Indeed, the God of grace does “awesome things that we did not expect” and “acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:3-4).
Brother Lawrence emphasizes a key that maximizes our spiritual development: Thinking of God leads to being with him. Knowing him leads to asking him for help. Loving him leads to thinking of God often.
By consistently practicing God’s presence, we are changed deeply and progressively.
Action Step: Take a moment to appreciate the spiritual growth you do have without feeling frustrated and take the next step toward spiritual maturity.
This is God’s Word for you today,