Monday, March 1, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Becoming

Becoming: How Our Love Relationship with God is a Work-In-Progress
A devotional by Jessica Brodie

Love can be wonderful—until we sabotage it with unrealistically high expectations and comparisons that our partner can never live up to.

Authentic love isn’t always extreme black or white, up or down—it’s that lovely middle-gray space in the middle, too. Sometimes it’s wild, passionate, and all-consuming, while other times it’s like a soft, cozy blanket, a shelter from life’s thunderstorms. Knowing this helps us love our partner (or parent, or child, or friend) better, and pivot more easily in times of difficulty. It helps us grow and learn, as well as gain wisdom and compassion.

When it comes to our relationship with God, it’s much the same.

We all have a unique, special relationship with God. Sometimes it’s a father-child kind of relationship, and sometimes it’s a best-friendship. Sometimes it’s a beautiful, complicated blend, and other times (on our end!) it feels a bit hands-off, dysfunctional, or unhealthily weighted. But the negatives are all on us—not God.

Yet, as we sometimes do with our marriages and other important human relationships, we expect “me and God” to be this perfect unit. While it is perfect from God’s end, as sinful humans, it can get a bit messy sometimes on our end. That can lead to some unraveling and drifting away.

It’s important to know God’s love for us never changes—ever. God is perfect, almighty. He’s the constant, ever-present Lord of the Universe we can count on who never fails us and never forsakes us.

But we humans are so fickle and imperfect. We float in and out of our love relationship with God over the course of a lifetime, even over the course of a single year. Sometimes we feel so close to Him it’s like bliss. Other times God feels so far away, and we start to doubt that love. “Does He really hear us?” we think. “Does He really care?”

We sabotage a good thing with our own doubt.

While God’s love for us is always perfect, our love for Him falls short. But it can be truly helpful to know our love relationship with God is a work in progress. Understanding that can be comforting—and draw us closer to Him in the end.

The Bible assures us Jesus was God’s only son, and through faith in Jesus we get the honor of becoming children of God. As John 1:12 (NRSV) reminds us, “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.”

But what does that actually mean, this notion of “becoming children of God”?

My friend and colleague Dr. Paul Harmon, who is a retired United Methodist pastor, recently reflected on this, noting that one of the most striking things about this passage is that the verb is not “be,” but “become.”

“Become” isn’t just a state of being, Harmon reflected, but an evolution. A growth. A process.

As Harmon wrote, “It is a relationship that is always in process, always seeking, always growing, always attuning itself to the will of God. As finite and sinful creatures we must constantly search for those values and impulses within us that are incompatible with Christ’s teachings, and thus not in keeping with God’s will. We must daily search for the answer to the constant question, ‘Is this God’s will, or is this my will?’”

On God’s end, that love is a given. On our end, though, our moods shift and change. We rise and fall with the days and the seasons.

Most people who have weathered many successful years of marriage or a close friendship have learned that love isn’t just an emotion but a verb. It’s a process, a constant striving, a commitment.

It’s the same thing with our relationship with God.

In close human relationships, there are things we can do to stay close to our loved one over the years: take time to be with them. Put their needs before our own. Bend to their will. Listen for their voice. Trust them.

It’s the same with God—we don’t know why things happen, but we trust He has a plan. We don’t always hear His voice, but we know He’s there. We sometimes prefer to walk our own path, but we know it’s better to heed His will than our own.

Similarly, we know it’s important to devote a good bulk of our time to Him, carving out regular moments to read the Bible, pray, bask in His creation, listen for and to Him.

Those things help us in the process of becoming closer to Him, just like those things help us draw closer to the people we love here on earth.

We are God’s children, loved and free in Him! That’s a given. But the little things we do to draw closer on a daily basis help make that relationship deeper, better, stronger, and more fulfilling.

How are you working to be close to the Lord right now? Is there something more you could do?

Let’s Pray:
Lord God, help us work as hard to get close to you as we do in the important human relationships we enjoy. Help us know your love is bigger than our doubts and mightier than any human relationship, and just as fulfilling. Help us work on becoming better for you so we can serve you well and glorify you daily. In your holy and precious name we pray, amen.

Author Bio:

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian journalist, author, blogger, editor, and devotional writer. For the last decade, she’s been the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, which has won 118 journalism awards during her tenure. 

She is the author of Feed My Sheep: A 40-Day Devotional to Develop a Heart for Hunger Ministry (2019) and More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), all from her newspaper’s Advocate Press.

She is a seasoned speaker and contributor to Crosswalk,, and the United Methodist News Service, among many others. She has a weekly faith blog at and is part of the team at Wholly Loved Ministries.

Represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency, she is seeking a publishing contract for her two contemporary women’s fiction novels, The Memory Garden and Tangled Roots

The Memory Garden won the 2018 Genesis Award for Contemporary Fiction from American Christian Fiction Writers, and Tangled Roots placed in Contemporary Romance at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in 2019.

Married, Brodie has four children and stepchildren and lives in Lexington, South Carolina.

Connect with Jessica:


  1. Yes, this reminds me of the saying, "If God feels distant, He's not the one who moved!"

  2. I am very thankful to have a relationship with God. I am thankful for all the people and the ways He has brought into my life that have helped me grow closer to Him. I pray I will always show the love of Christ.

  3. I like how you connected the word 'become' to being in process as it pertains to our relationship with God, especially in becoming more and more like Christ. Being made in the new image of Christ takes consistent nourishment. We must never stop seeking him.

    1. Love that concept - consistent nourishment. Great point. Thanks, Marcie!

  4. I love how you bring out the sense of process in our relationship with God. I know from my own experience how my first step of faith was a beginning point but feeble in comparison to what it has become after many ups and downs and bumps in the road.

    1. Yes, it is definitely a process, one that evolves, and there is such beauty in that. Thank you for reading, Janice!

  5. Like any relationship we human beings enter, the relationship we have with God is fluid and always fluctuating as we move through life. This is because this is how we are as humans. Of course, the Lord is unchanging, and yet our relationship with even him is fluid and dependent on our emotions, our interactions with him, and our outcomes. I love that part of "becoming," a wise observation and definitely significant! That is true!

    1. Love that sense of fluidity you capture. Thank you! God bless you, Melinda!

  6. This is a great post, Jessica! As with any relationship of love, our relationship with the Lord is never stagnant nor frozen. Things are fluid. As you stated so clearly, the problem is never with God, but with us, for whereas he has always been God, we are still, as you beautifully noted, "becoming" children of God. We ARE in that position of God's children, but we will be in an entirely different position in our relationship with him both when we grow and when we see him face to face. Every act of intimacy and nearness and listening and comprehending moves us closer to him, but sometimes we tear away and run or ignore or argue or yell. We're the broken human element. Meanwhile, he patiently, lovingly, continually asks us to let him bear our burdens, wooing us toward intimacy. Sometimes we harden our hearts, close our Bibles, and create greater distance. But, when we're in the Word daily, yearning to hear his voice, talking to him throughout the day, listening to him, we're at the best and most beautiful place. I'm so thankful for God's patience and forbearance, and his everlasting lovingkindness toward us.

  7. Fresh insight on God's love, Jessica. I particularly like the verb "become" as a growth process in becoming Children of God!


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