When we really want to grow, why does it come so slow? For the pre-teen who’s tired of being dependent, it takes forever to grow old enough for a driver’s license. For the high school senior ready to be in college or out on their own, the days and months creep along.

For me, when I want to grow up faster in the Lord, it can seem to take an eternity. I want to grow in maturity and surrender, in obedience and usefulness. Why is growth so slow?

Mostly, because it’s out of our hands. We can’t make ourselves grow taller or mature faster physically or even physiologically. It happens to us, over time. As believers, spiritual growth and maturity has everything to do with abiding.

Jesus talks in John 15 about abiding in the vine. We are a branch grafted to Jesus the Vine by our faith in Him. As we abide in Him, we grow, but it’s the vine that determines the speed and degree. We can’t do more to grow faster; we can only remain in the vine – remain with Jesus, tarry with Him – so that He can bring about the growth He desires.

It’s not something we can force or try harder at. In fact, I’m learning the less effort and the more resting, the greater the evidence of Christ in me because He is the One doing the work. He is the One growing me. Producing fruit. The more we abide, the more He we grow in Him.

That’s the growth I want: the kind that results in His fruit for His purposes for His kingdom use.

Let’s not be focused so much on the speed of change as much as the degree of change, for when Jesus grows something in us, He is faithful to keep us and accomplish all He desires for and of us.

It is He that does the growing.

Friend. Abide.