Bernie Anderson
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Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: How Faith Grows

The young person doesn't want to grow old. Stale. Crotchety and stuck in old ways.

I get that. I remember that.

I had a classic 1980's and 1990's brand of young faith. Very Keith Green/Jim Elliot inspired. All in. A no reserve-no retreat-no regrets kind of faith. Older pastors who would assure Renee' and I with patronizing tones that we'd learn. We'd get over it. We'd grow up.

We did grow up.

How has your faith changed with age and experience?

Someone asked that question of me the other day. It's a good question. One worthy of more consideration than 500 or so words on a blog post. I've found faith to be like a tree. Jesus made this comparison, himself. The simplicity and fervor of a seed that grows into something steadfast and stalwart. Over time. And growth looks different in every phase. In the early stages, change is obvious and happens with speed. Growth is tangible. Almost visible. But, over time, discernible growth slows. Yet, there's an internal strengthening. A thickening of bark. The deepening of roots. There's a quality of rugged sturdiness about an old oak that can't compare to a young sapling.

Every tree that makes it must go through every stage.

I am thankful for my wonder-years, Keith Green faith. It's shaped who I am today. In fact, at my core, that sapling faith is still there (and, yes, I do still listen to Keith).

But, that faith has gone through several seasons over the past few decades.

There were a lot of worship songs in the 1990's boldly declaring, "I will not be shaken." We sing a few of them yet today. And while that sounds like a faith-filled declaration, the reality is we will be shaken. Every one of us. Storms will come and will shake us violently. Shaking strengthens faith. It makes roots go deep. Toughens our skin.

There's a lot of life in deep-rooted, thick-skinned faith. There's a lot of life in the sapling of fresh faith. The quality and nature of faith is different. Life-potential. Life-lived.

Young faith is about vibrancy. Mature faith is about geography.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore.
— Psalm 125:2