I’m sure you have your own way of remembering the difference but for me, I remember stalagmites as the ones that grow from the ground up because they “might” reach the top one day, and stalactites as the ones as the ones that grow from the ceiling down because they hold “tight” to the ceiling.
Either way, they are incredible aren’t they? Especially the limestone ones – the type we all think about – that are formed over hundreds or thousands of years one drip at a time.
So, I hear you thinking, what has this got to do with “spiritual things”? Well, I was reminded of this slow but impressive growth today as I was pondering on how long it took me to grab hold of certain truths.
When my husband and I first met 26 years ago I was, frankly, a mess. I’ve been a Christian all my life, but very much “self taught”. I had only spent probably 3 years of my life attending church, with the rest of my knowledge of God coming first through my Mum’s example and sharing of her own faith, and then through my own reading of the Bible.
Well, it wasn’t so much ready as clinging…. The first Bible I ever had was a Gideons International. At the front is the “where to find help when” section. Aged 11, as my world crashed around me and I went from being the popular, confident girl everyone wanted to be with to the disabled, fat, ugly, victim of all the bullying, the girl everyone alternatively mocked and shunned (long story maybe for another day) I turned to those pages to “find help”. I underlined in red biro, scoring through the thin pages, the sections for things like feeling alone, depressed, discouraged, suicidal, or needing peace. I read those Scriptures over and over again.
It wasn’t exactly that they helped. I mean, the situation didn’t change and I didn’t feel any better. But I read them to remind myself, because despite it all, I believed them. I knew they were true. I knew God didn’t lie. I knew therefore that my reality was the thing at odds with His Word, not the other way around.
I had no maturity, no teaching, no revelation to correctly fathom this out and I’ll admit my perspective was more one of “that’s true for everyone else” rather than believing that things were going to get better for me. But still, I believed the Words and I reread them every single day.
Through my late teens and early twenties I stopped reading Scripture because I couldn’t handle the Truths in them, that were firmly at odds with the choices I was making.
My mental health was in pieces.
Back to meeting my husband. He was a new Christian but he had the blessing of falling instantly in love with the Word and, being the way he is, determining to read it and understand it. He spent hours every day studying, locked away with the Word (he was a youth pastor and evangelist when I met him). Through his eyes I began to understand something of the richness of the Word, the power it contained, and to realise there was more to it than I had found or understood in those often-read verses.
Over the years of our marriage he taught me, showed me, encouraged me. I began to read Scripture differently, looking for revelation. In all this time I was battling several major mental health issues and again, being honest, although I was hearing the Word (as my husband continually declared God’s favour over me, declaring who I am in Christ, declaring God’s Heart for me) and even reading it for myself, I can’t say it exactly changed me.
Not at the time. Not noticeably.
Here’s the thing though (and the connection to the start of this post!): it all built up.
Drip by drip. Word by word. Declaration by declaration. Truth by Truth.
It all added up.
Without truly noticing, without really being aware of it or measuring it, one day I looked back at my life and thought “Hey! Where did that come from?!” My faith had been built up and now reached the level of Heaven’s Truth. I now believed, knew, understood, grasped, the depths and breadths and heights of God’s Love for me. I now could see how He loved me. I now could see that I WAS worth it. I was precious. I was loved. I was fearfully and wonderfully made.
He has plans and purposes for me. He sent His Son for me. He values me THAT MUCH!
All those Scriptures were true. He never left me. He has never forsaken me. He didn’t leave me in that mess. He did lead me out. He did work it all together for my good.
The analogy works the other way too: that drip by drip God’s Love for me, His Truths, His Words, built up until heaven’s Truth came down and touched the my reality, the dust on the floor where I lay.
Either way, I can see looking back how vital every reading of the Word and every hearing of it’s Truth mattered. Every verse I read, every verse my husband read out over me, it affected my spirit, and my soul.
It brings me to this: if you are feeling lack – whether faith, self belief, love, esteem, health, money, or any other area of need – keep reading the Word. Find a verse every day. Use a plan.
It doesn’t matter that at this point in time you read it and think “so what”. It doesn’t matter if you read it and think “that’s all very well but”. It doesn’t matter if you read it and don’t fully understand, you don’t get goosebumps or hear a heavenly choir sing.
Play those worship songs. Turn up to the service. Go to the prayer lock ins.
Again, it doesn’t matter if at the moment when you go to a prayer meeting you just sit and listen to other people pray. It doesn’t matter that you don’t believe your prayers go further than the ceiling. Sit in the room and listen to the prayers. Hear the petitions. Hear the praise. Hear the faith.
Go along and sit at the side of the Healing Room sessions. Turn up for the special speaker. Download those podcasts. Watch Bethel teachings on YouTube.
Allow the Truth to drip in to your life. To drip on to you.
If nothing else is working for you, nothing seems to be getting through and you are just hanging in there, sitting in that damn boat in the middle of a storm feeling that, whilst you KNOW Jesus is there with you, you really REALLY wish He’d “wake up” and tell the storm to stop because its getting harder and harder to believe what He said that you would make it to the other side…. Just let the Word drip.
I promise you it is having an effect. I promise you the gap between you and heaven is getting smaller. I promise you that you will one day see, and know, and feel, and truly grasp just who you are, and Who He is, and it WILL make a difference.