Growth isn’t always good. Aging is teaching me this valuable lesson. My waistline is growing. Grays are too. The nest that was carefully and lovingly built for my three children isn’t growing, but my kids are, to a point where the nest isn’t as comfortable as it once was. Thus, sorrow grows.
My fears grow from time to time without my having fed them. Shame grows within me when I think about choices I've made in the face of a gracious God. Guilt grows too.
Feelings of inadequacy tower over me sometimes, like a giant beanstalk. I find myself immobile in the shadow. Strangely, I can be feeling inadequate one minute, and then pride sprouts right alongside a well-established "I’m not good enough” plant.
So does selfishness.
No, growing doesn't always benefit .
I thought on this today while I tackled a weed-filled flowerbed in my front yard. After killing the intruders, I did my best to bury what remained with bag after bag of mulch. I raked and I wished those weeds dead, beyond any hope of resurrection. I looked at the covered ground and was perfectly pleased.
We have a tendency to focus solely on growth. We forget that growth is intermingled with death; often dependent on it.
I can do a little about my expanding waist. I can hide my grays, though they’ll really still be there. Some kinds of unwanted growth we learn to live with.
Sin is meant to die.
Sure. Pray for growth. But don’t give up on conquering. Though we have no power of our own to defeat sin, that power exists.
The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:4-5 (The Message)
The power is in the cross. Death is the precursor to life.
What unpromising seedlings have begun to sprout in you? Worse, what has held on to you with clinging roots, supposing that you’ve given up; submitted to its stubborn presence?
What do you need to believe to death today?