Friday, May 12, 2017

the trouble with growing

The trouble with growing is the letting go don’t you think? Until recently our eldest didn’t really ever grow out of clothes quickly enough for them to still have some life in them to pass on. But now all of a sudden she is finally, wonderfully, fairly miraculously growing! And it is hard to adjust to the frequent letting go of clothes that are familiar; we’re not used to it and it’s uncomfortable getting used to new ones all the time. Just when you think you’re settled growth happens and it all begins again.

Of course, we were made to grow, and not just in height. A follower, a disciple of Jesus, a friend of God grows in knowledge and stature, maturity, closeness and Christ-likeness day after day – it’s inevitable – isn’t it? We can’t help it, it is a natural outworking of being in his presence and having his Holy Spirit at work in us.

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness. (Galatians 5:22, AMP)

But it is hard letting go as we grow. It’s a challenge. Giving love the room to bear fruit means letting go of grudges or selfishness. Growing into peace means letting fear and distrust take a back seat. And what of patience, gentleness, self-control? And what is restricting the growth of faithfulness and goodness? And I want to get used to wearing joy, but it’s tough some days to hold lightly to the sense of justified frustration and mounting negativity that can choke my thinking. Such a tough challenge to get used to new ‘clothes’ when everything in life is demanding, when energy has permanently run out, and sensitivity is on high alert as usual. It is made a little easier when I lift my head just enough to recognize the One who chose them for me… He knows me completely, knows they will be comfortable if I can just get past the newness, and knows they are just right for me to grow into.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. (Colossians 3:12, MSG)

Abba Father, thank you for your presence in my every day. It nurtures me, I can’t help but keep growing! Thank you for the gift of these new clothes, help me as I get used to wearing them.

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