What does it mean to flourish in the Christian life?

Is it a season where things go exactly right? Or a moment you feel completely happy, healthy, and whole?

You and I both know things rarely go “exactly right.” And healing and growth are a journey – not a fixed point in time.

So, how do we flourish?

A story about shoes

A friend and I were meeting for a book study. One afternoon she and I were talking through a grace concept when I noticed she looked a little tentative. We always had animated discussions, so I figured something was going on behind the scenes.

"What's up?" I asked her.

"Oh . . . well, I can't help thinking . . . I mean, this grace stuff is amazing and all. But it's so foreign--so different from what I've always heard. I've been taught there are many rules and things you should do as a "good Christian." It's hard to wrap my head around another way. It's like, as I look at grace . . .

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop."

Religion is like that. It requires you to manage your behavior and live up to a standard -- or else. Instead of celebrating how far you've come or who you are now or what great things Christ is up to in your life, you must toe the line, inevitably waiting for dropping shoes.

Already in bloom

Flourishing spiritually doesn't need to wait till some distant, "perfect" day. We can "grow or develop in a healthy, vigorous way" right now. And the fun part? You probably already are!

Flowers give us a beautiful example as they transform from tight bud to beautiful bloom a little at a time. When was the last time you caught one opening before your very eyes? We realize the process is slow, and we still know those beauties are flourishing.

So it is with our daily faith adventure. We, too, bloom slowly but surely.

Notice the growth

Instead of looking to some distant moment to “arrive" spiritually, let’s look for places in our stories today where we see development and growth.

Flourishing might look as simple as...

  • “Hey, I would’ve taken that comment personally before, but I didn’t just now.”
  • “Hey, that could’ve discouraged me for the rest of the day, but I'm gonna focus on a better story."
  • “Hey, I just reacted with love instead of exasperation. Woo hoo!”
  • “Hey, I chose to give that worry to the Lord this week instead of carrying it around.”
  • “Hey, things are uncertain. But instead of trying to control every detail, I look forward to what Jesus will do next in my adventure.”

Any place we notice Christ at work in and through us is a place we blossom. (Philippians 2:13, Galatians 2:20-21) And those little blossoms make up a beautiful, flourishing life.

Bloom gladly, friend.

Prayer for today

Dear Abba Father, thank you that You care about the lilies of the field and the smallest sparrows . . . and me! Some days I get bogged down in the places I'm stuck or don't measure up. But I know that You're up to something in my faith adventure. Your heart for me is to flourish, and I want that too. Help me to focus on the small places You're at work in my heart, helping me blossom. May I see life through Your eyes and celebrate even the small things with You. Amen.

Journal & Reflection questions:

  1. What is one spiritual growth place you can celebrate today?
  2. Where do you find yourself still "waiting for the other shoe to drop?"
  3. How is God leading you toward a flourish focus in everyday life?


Miriam Holzmann

What a blessing! Perfect words and gentle questions! Yes! How good, kind, and compassionate our Shepherd is.
The phrase “powerful, yet ever so gently redeeming”, came to mind. That’s something to consider. Powerful, in that He redeems completely! Yet, He accomplishes it in such a way as to draw (win, woo) us not conquer us!
I love Him so much! I’m so grateful He loved me first and won me over!

Thanks for sharing with us, Janna Grace Wright!

Janna Wright

He is such a good, kind, compassionate Shepherd! And He redeems us so beautifully. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Rosa Alonso

Thank you ever so much for making me notice that grace is not always a “boom”, but can also be found in a piecemeal “bloom”. May I always realize every step of these opening buds in my life. I have a plant full of flowers and I have seen them bloom from small buds. This really helps in understanding grace in my life. I have had many moments of boom, but now I am going through a period of “bloom”! Thanks a lot for making me notice it!

Janna Wright

What a fun way to put that — “boom” and “bloom.” Isn’t it beautiful to see the way God uses both as He helps us grow in grace? Bloom on, friend.