Eternity Matters: GROW ME GENTLY

By Norma Shull Smith

Have you ever felt like you were in over your head? Have you ever been put into a situation where you wish you could just quickly move away from it? Have you ever absolutely admired a person and then one day realized you shouldn’t put people on pedestals, as we are all human?
Have you ever been drenched in fear, not wanting to move forward?
All the above is a part of living life and I’m sure that at one time or another, if we are honest, all of us would admit that we could answer the questions above, with a “yes”.
Every since I acquired a new title that I didn’t want or ask for; that of being a widow, my spirit has an almost constant 3 -word prayer. I can’t count the times, I have whispered to the Lord, “Grow me Gently.” I also whisper it in the Lords ear concerning others I love, who I know are going through struggles. WHY? Why would the Lord place these words on my heart? It certainly is a quick prayer, nothing eloquent or complicated about it, yet I know the Holy Spirit gave it to me for a reason. It’s not the only prayer I pray, as I have a very long list of people who have needs and have asked for prayer for specific needs. But this 3 – word prayer, to me, is power packed.
Being the deep thinker that I am, I do understand why God keeps our future from us. He doesn’t keep us privy of specific times that our loved ones will die, or of our own death. God doesn’t want us to live in fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
My heart tells me that in the cycle of life, as we face the unexpected, the uncomfortable, and the awkward, that God can use these things to, “grow us gently!” He knows that if we are side swiped too hard, we would have difficulty in receiving the grace He wants us to experience. Matthew 11: Verse 29 says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am “GENTLE” and humble in heart, and I will give rest for your souls.”
I didn’t ask to have this new title, nor did I ask that I lose my speaking ability, but through it all I have truly experienced more grace and love than I could ever record on paper. My family, friends and church family, have given me so much encouragement and support that it became a thing of beauty! During these times of struggle, God places people across our path to show us His gentleness and love. Because we are weak, He becomes our strength.
If you have that child, or spouse or friend who thinks you are “too religious,” be kind and gentle, for they don’t understand that it is not a religion, it is a relationship. I challenge you to begin to pray that God will grow them gently, because Eternity Will Matter!

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