When it comes to how you are growing, what are you praying for? For me, it’s always
patience, humility, and grace with others. Sometimes my words come too quick and cut too
deep. Even when I’m not mad! These are moments that help me realize I need to keep praying!
Pretty recently, however, I was in a situation that allowed me to see a bit of my
progress. I was baking a pie for a large gathering of friends. I don’t bake often because I prefer
the experiential freedom of cooking versus the scientific requirements of the baking process.
(aka, I don’t like being told exactly what to do…just give me ideas and I’ll figure it out! Lol).
I was following directions to the T, doing all the weird things that baking requires. Using
cold butter here, room temperature butter there, stirring forever, lining portions with foil, and
baking at one temperature and then shifting higher to create a nice crust…all the things! In
the process, as I pulled out my pie, the heat of the oven heated up the necklace I was wearing.
My jerk reaction of grabbing the hot metal singeing my neck unbalanced my pie on the baking
sheet. I watched, in more than mild horror, as the pie slid onto the open oven door, then slid
onto the floor, dumping half of the caramel apple goodness and flaky buttery crust onto my less
than clean floor!

Always a quick responder, I grabbed a spatula and scooped the pie right back into the
pie plate and put it into the oven. And then I just stood there. After about five seconds, I started

Now this is not a life-altering situation. I lost a pie right before a party. I made a mistake.
I failed in a way that was going to force an alteration to my expectations. In years past, this sort
of event could have derailed my evening. I know that sometimes I do not have grace for myself.
I do not have patience for the processes in life such as baking, so if I attempt that work, it better
work! But in this instance, I was able to stand at the sink, washing my sticky pie hands, laughing,
and realize, I have grown in my patience and grace! Praise the LORD!

The Lord gave me a tiny glimpse of how He is not done softening my heart, curbing my
reactions, and adjusting my innermost parts to better reflect Him! It doesn’t always have to be
in the big things. His goodness is revealed in the small things, too.
Growth often happens slowly, incrementally, and without us noticing. Often, I talk with
people who are totally disappointed with where they are spiritually. This is primarily because
they see where they are, where they want to be, and where other people are. The comparison
habit is very detrimental to having patience for the process.

If we only look at where others are, we negate the fact that some things are not
struggles for others. I have friends who are so incredibly punctual, gentle with their words, and
do not need to be seen or heard to feel included. It consistently blows my mind because that is
the opposite of me! If I compared myself to them, rather than simply admiring and celebrating their gifts, I would never allow God’s work in me in to be credited to Him.

He IS working things out in those who are seeking to please Him! If you keep asking God to heal you, change you,
encourage you, give you opportunities to serve Him, He will. Sometimes He works at a different
pace than we would like, but I know the pace of how he transforms us is a part of His grace to
us as well.

How are you feeling about your growth today? Frustrated? Disappointed? Take stock
through Jesus’ eyes. Recognize where He has moved in your life and take a moment and
celebrate. He is on the move in YOUR life. And He’s not finished with you yet!


Candace Cortez is Executive Pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. She can be reached at
candace@kchanford.com or 559-582-1528.