It’s hard to believe we are at the end of February. So far, the winter here has not been too bad. A few light snows and some cold days, but not a winter that has seemed to hang on forever. And even though March can produce a wide variety of weather, the unusually cold days will be short-lived. They will be shoved out by some really nice and comfortable afternoons. The season will change. When it does, everything will follow. I think of the bucks that have been roaming around proudly. During the early Spring, their antlers will fall off, leaving them at their most vulnerable stage. They will no longer be looking for a fight or a ready doe, but solely for food. But in only a few short weeks a certain craving will return that will determine where they stay during the summer. While food and water will be important, certain minerals will be what will draw them to specific areas. Those minerals will be crucial to maximizing antler growth for the next season. The most mature bucks will need the most minerals and in order to get them, they will sacrifice lesser needs. Maturity just requires something different, but it always gives more.

           I’m thankful I have had the opportunity to be around some mature believers in my life. They are men and women who love being around other believers, no matter what spiritual level the others may be on. Part of their maturity is recognizing that becoming a mature believer takes time. So, you will find them more understanding and forgiving, and more willing to pick up and dust off the fallen, rather than rebuke, condemn, and abandon. They remember their own days when it seemed there were more failures than successes. So, they are loving and longsuffering. Their maturity must be fed, but they have learned to feed themselves. And they too will sacrifice lesser things for those rarer minerals. But they will always give more to those of us who look to them as trophies of the faith. Maturity is a destination others will see you reach before you do. As it should be.

Gary Miller