Friday, July 1, 2011

Growth - One Day at a Time

By Bethany Lashbrook

Today’s Verse: Proverbs 13:1, “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.

Devotion: Last week I took my oldest daughter to her first camp. Yeah, she’s been to church camps before with family, friends, and church family, but this was the first camp she has attended solo. We took her to camp, signed her in with complete strangers in a different town, and kissed her goodbye. And that was that for four whole days.

In the instant I kissed her, I saw her being born nine years earlier. Then, I saw her graduating nine years later. Sometimes sad tears can be happy tears too! Is that how the Lord sees us as we start a new adventure? Does he see us the day we were born? Does he envision us later in life after we have ventured out on our own for a bit? I would like to think that a tear of happiness comes to his face as he says, “well done my child”.

What is it about growing up that can be so exhilarating, yet still so scary at the same time? Growing pains are needed while growing in age: learning boundaries, testing curfews, increasing independence from parents, starting families, listening to wiser more experienced elders.

Yet, growing in Christ is just as hard: daily disciplines, holding of the tongue, following God’s lead, trusting God’s plan, learning to love everyone around us, serving others, thinking of others first. It is all part of growing up.

Paul reminds us in the book of Romans that we “rejoice in our sufferings, because we know suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (5:3-5, NIV)

With the Holy Spirit, we can all continue to grow. It doesn’t matter if we are the nine year old going to camp, the mother dropping the nine year old off at camp, or the six year old going home as an only sibling for four days. We are all equipped to learn God’s teachings, follow God’s lead, and listen for his message in every event in our lives.

Dear Lord, thank you for helping me grow this week during this “first” in my life. I trust you to watch over her because it was you who made her. Thank you for continuing to teach and guide me in all things in life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application: Join me this week in praying every day for the Holy Spirit to guide our children in all things in life. If you don’t have any children, pray for your nieces, nephews or friends children. One week of prayer can equal one life changed forever!

Power Verses:

Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (NIV)

Ecclesiastes 11: 8-9, “Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.” (NIV)