After a year living aboard the International Space Station, astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Planet Earth on March 1. He grew from the experience – literally. Kelly came back two inches taller than when we left! A two-inch growth spurt doesn’t usually happen to a 52-year-old.
Amazing what can happen in a year.
How have you grown in the past year? As adults, we usually don’t grow in inches – at least not taller! But all of us grow in other ways over a year, ways that can’t be measured in feet or inches.
You may have grown disillusioned because of unfulfilled expectations. You may have grown bitter over hurts and disappointments.
Or you may have grown. Grown up. Grown in confidence. Grown in ability. Grown closer to God.
Life never stays still. It’s always growing in one direction or another.
The Bible says, “We are to grow up in every way into Him who is the Head, into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15) Life is a process of growth. As we walk with Jesus, God grows us in the direction that is for our greatest benefit, growing up into Christ. We grow in faith and good deeds. We grow in peace and joy.
Sometimes growth comes through difficult experiences. “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
When we experience pain, we can grow bitter … or we can grow. We can mature. We can learn important, life-shaping lessons.
We can grow more dependent on God.
Interestingly, while astronaut Scott Kelly grew two inches, his body became weaker because of less resistance during a year in space.
With no gravity, astronauts have less weight to bear. As a result, they release less calcium and their bones become more brittle. Muscles atrophy from less work. The heart doesn’t have to pump as vigorously, which can cause the heart to shrink.
Resistance is needed to keep us strong. With no resistance spiritually, we might become lightweights. Puny. But with appropriate levels of challenge, we can become stronger.
God is able to strengthen you. Your problems might be tough for you to handle. But God can handle them.
And the challenges you face may be the very tools that God uses to enable your growth. You have grown when you more fully rely on Him. You have grown when you develop endurance, character, and hope, which does not disappoint.
(Image Credit: Lisa @ Sierra Tierra)