God did return many months later and found the man tired and sorrowful. “Why, my child, are you in such despair?” God asked. The man replied, “Forgive me, Lord, for I have failed to move the stone even one inch up the hill.” God smiled and reached His hand to pick the man up from his despair. “My dear son, I did not ask you to push against this boulder that you should change it but that it should change you.” Perplexed the man hung his head, “I don’t understand, Lord.”
God stood the man on his feet. “Look at yourself. See how strong you’ve become; see how faithful you have proved yourself. Your callused hands can now grasp difficulty without being harmed. Your legs are powerful and can carry you on the path of faith. Your arms are strong and can now lift others up.” The man, in humble understanding, smiled at how God had loved him. “Come, my child,” God said, “for you are now fit for service in the kingdom of heaven.”
The faith and character that God will build in your life is of great worth in His sight. And the final product is simple: a mature, Christian life. The Father has purposed us to grow in Christ and as we persevere we walk along the path that will build His life in us. He will take us down the rough road of suffering until the life of His Son is formed in us. God is preparing each one of us on this path to maturity. Or, as James says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness" (James 1:2-3 ESV).
© 2015 Michael Duncan
For more information on spiritual growth and maturity, pick up the workbook: "Starting Out: A Study Guide for New Believers" here ~ http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482694328