Who of us in today’s society doesn’t hope for that quick-fix—the seminar, the experience, the program—to instantly solve all problems, relieve stress and strain?
As obsessed as we are with speed, God knows that deep-rootedness, strength and stability can only happen gradually and with care. Real maturity can never result from a single experience, no matter how powerful or moving. By tests and trials we grow and learn.
"God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” (Hebrews 12:9-11, The Message)
"And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” (2 Corinthians 3:18b, The Message)
So while Christ-likeness is our eventual destination, the journey lasts a lifetime.