Spiritual Growth

Spiritual Growth?
by Pat Bell

What exactly is spiritual growth? Why did the United Methodist Women find it necessary to have a Mission Coordinator for Spiritual Growth under the old leadership format? What will be the focus for the 2015 Spiritual Growth Experience? How can I help my United Methodist Women sisters grow spiritually? Is there such a thing? These are questions I have asked myself recently.
Reflection has been a daily practice for me, but I separated the spiritual from the life experience if you can believe that. At night I would reflect over the events of the day. The odd fact is that I had two categories. One for spiritual reflection and another for the day's events. Maybe some of you have engaged in this practice also. Before our 2014 Mission u began I continued that practice. However, at breakfast before the class sessions I had a conversation with one of the study leaders that brought this to my mind's forefront.  We were jesting about sleeping patterns when I burst out "I have no problem sleeping [I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. (Psalms 4:8 KJV)].
I allow God to handle all my problems during the night . I pick them up in the morning."
No sooner had the words exited my mouth than did the Holy Spirit reveal that as the source of my long term problems. I would pick my cares/problems up daily. Needless to say, I decided to "cast my cares on Him (Jesus) because He cares for me" (1 Peter 5:7) during the day as well as at night.  I found "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. (Psalms 127:2 KJV)" as a scripture to reflect and meditate on as well to ensure coverage during the DAY as well as at night.
Have all my cares been erased? Not at this time, but they are no longer my problems. They belong to The Lord. That was a time of spiritual growth for me.
Those "ah ha" moments when the Holy Spirits drops a caveat in your being is an opportunity to grow spiritually. I believe the key is being open to receive the nugget. As a result of the class:"How Is It with Your Soul?" I developed a practice of writing those cares from the day on a card and literally placing them on a prayer altar.  I do this now as a reminder to thank God for handling those cares and as a reminder to me that they belong to Him.
This practice is helping me grow spiritually and is why I am sharing it with you.  I cannot help you grow spiritually only the Holy Spirit can do that.
What I can do, is do what so many authors do--share the gospel with you and let you in on how the Holy Spirit has changed my life. If you are willing and open to His leading you will grow spiritually.
This is my story and has become my song. I will tell you  "if we know that he [God] hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him" (1 John 5:15 KJV).
May the Word of God richly bless you.
Shalom