These days, whenever anyone asks how I am doing, my usual answer is “growing”. The word seems to sum up most everything about my life. First of all, I’m in my third trimester and as big as a blimp! I’m starting to outgrow even my maternity clothes and strongly considering purchasing some extra large rain ponchos, though I’m not sure how my head pastor would feel about my wardrobe choice for leading worship. Josie is growing like a weed, bouncing off the walls with energy! She keeps Martin and me on our toes, but so much fun at this age. And our family is about to grow, from one child to three kids two and under. It’s an exciting time and an exhausting time. Growth is a great blessing… and it’s tiring. And when I’m really honest, growing is exhausting. Growing makes me anxious as I step into uncharted territory. Will I really be able to handle all this? Am I even able to handle the life I’m living right now? Truthfully, the answer is probably no. And that’s why I am so thankful that the promises of God are not silent on this subject of growth.
As I was reading 2 Peter 3:18 this morning, I was reminded that God doesn’t call us to grow in perfection or to grow in stamina or independence or all those things that the world prizes. God’s word calls us to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To HIM be glory, both now and forever!” What a relief to hear that in the midst of our growing pains (both spiritually and literally in my case), God simply calls me to draw closer to Him, to get to know him better. It’s as if He’s saying, “Remember that grace that initially saved you when you were a hopeless mess? It is still readily available to you, every moment of every day!” Could it be that my current stretching and growing is just one more opportunity for a fresh encounter with the grace of Jesus?
My prayer for myself, and for anyone who was kind enough to read this, is that God would meet us in our growth, whether it’s a relational strain, a new responsibility at work, a challenging family life, or a devastating diagnosis. I pray that God would give us courage for each moment, that He would calm our anxious hearts, breathe new life into each soul and show us that our weariness is just an opportunity for deeper reliance on the One true sustainer. And to Him be the glory in all of our growing!