The Lesson of the Dragonfly
God is a grower. He is the Shepherd who raises us, the Vinedresser who tends us and the Heavenly Parent who guides us. As I watched dozens of dragonflies flit around the riverbank, God whispered this encouragement. If you're feeling confusion or frustration concerning a lack of growth right now, may this message bring a fresh lens of hope to you!
Some have received a word from the Lord about growth – something the Lord is going to grow in them or through them. Naturally, we think of growth as the growth of a plant. There's the initial breakthrough out of the seed and then a consistent and visible increase in size and ground taken. Throughout the growing process, the growth is easy to see because it always looks like a plant... just bigger. The difference in size over time becomes an obvious indicator of growth. But the Lord reminded me that there's another kind of growth...
Dragonflies, among many other creatures, have a growth that comes in stages. There's an egg form, a water-bound, insect-looking nymph form, and a full-grown, flying dragonfly form that spends time on land, in the air, and near the water.
Growth in Stages
Growth in stages is harder to spot. It can seem like not much is happening because we are looking for an increase in the same form (like the growth of a plant)... and we're not seeing it. Instead, growth in stages may not mean a change in size, but a change in form altogether. Said another way, God may not be multiplying the old thing like you expected, because He's planning something entirely different looking. And that new form holds new functions, new abilities, and new territories (just like the dragonfly's stages). (Photo via Unsplash)
If you've received a word about growth from the Lord, know this: Any growing God does is going to be good, because He is incapable of less than good and perfect. That growth may look like expansion and increase – the "bigger" or "more." That growth may also look like a completely different phase that holds new abilities and adventures. But when we constantly look for growth to come in the same package that it has in the past, we can become frustrated and miss the growth God is actually doing.
Looking at a dragonfly nymph with its teeny, tiny wing buds, beetle-like body and fully aquatic lifestyle, you'd never expect that its next phase would be a dragonfly. Release the "look" of your growth to the Author who also created the dragonfly. Encounter the Lord about it in prayer – not with the goal of understanding the plan for growth (we rarely can, in all of its divine complexities), but with a heart hungry for an awareness of seeing Him move in our circumstances. The place of our frustration may very well become our place of deepest praise and gratitude when viewed through His lens of growth.
Three Questions to Ask God
1. What are You growing in and through me that I haven't noticed?
2. In what ways have my expectations of what You're going to do next boxed in my view of the growth You're doing right now?
3. What can I do to be in a posture of thankfulness and readiness for the growth You're doing in me now?
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Arrows of Zion
Sara Whitten is an author, speaker, equipper, and founder of Arrows of Zion Ministry. She and her husband are pastors for the youth at Impact Christian Fellowship in Kerrville, Texas. Sara is a prophetic writer that has been featured on The Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, Charisma and more. She hosts "Hear God Everyday" on Charisma Podcast Network, a podcast with tools to help amplify the voice of God amidst the noise of everyday life. Sara also co-founded One Spark International, an organization that sponsors Bible-based training and education in unreached and restricted nations in order to see the gospel reach all people groups. She is also an active part of groups that train and invest in professionals wanting to use their business and marketplace skills to transform unreached nations for the Kingdom.
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