Watching me get dressed and looking intently at some lovely moles under my arm, Mary Claire (6) asked, "Mommy, what are those?" Before I could answer, she matter-of-factly stated, "That's just what grows when you get old."
Yep. Thanks, Mary Claire. Oh, how we can be humbled by our children! Pointing out the obvious is a strength of our little ones. But, you know, the comment got me thinking...
My mom and dad recently shopped at the Ulta beauty supply store. My mom chuckled as she recounted the purpose of their errand: to purchase an ultra-magnifying mirror and nose hair clippers! Some things just grow when you get older.
Other things, however, don't grow unless we are purposeful about them. One thing is sure: we are growing older. But, are we growing wiser? We all grow old, but we do not all grow up.
This is just as true among believers as it is true among those who do not know Christ. Jesus tells a parable about a farmer (God) who plants seeds (God's Word). Many, he says, will hear the Word of God and believe. Yet, as they go about life, they will be consumed by worry and riches and pleasures and they will not mature. Others, he says, will "hear the Word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." Luke 8:15
Jesus seems to be stating that the extraordinary quality of the man who matures is perseverance. In other words, the mature man, though he faces the same worldly challenges, does not give up. James reinforces the concept that perseverance and maturity go hand-in-hand. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4
If I could rewind my life and remove the events that have caused so much pain, I would. But, since I cannot, I can truly say that I am grateful for the opportunities they have provided for me to choose perseverance. For, in that simple act of hanging on, God has revealed so much of himself and has faithfully been maturing me along the way. The process is slow, but he promises he will finish it (Philippians 1:6).
I want him to find me lacking nothing when he comes for me or takes me home. I long for him to complete what he started in me. Oh, that his Word may find good soil in my heart today! What kind of ground will he find in yours? What will grow as YOU get old?