“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Ninn

John 15
James 3:9-18
Colossians 1:9-14

You can’t make yourself grow. You cannot tell muscle, sinew and bone to expand. This power does not belong to you.

You can, however, make for an environment that fosters growth. You can put the right things into your body. You can exert yourself in such a way that the body responds with growth. You can rest so that the body has time to recover. You can supplement a healthy diet with creatine, protein powders and a dash of HGH. You can even enlist Balco to help you. All of these together create an environment for growth.

As much as women want to tone thighs and hips, and men want to build muscle in their arms and chests, we all want to grow as people. The visible change serves as a physical manifestation of the inner growth we desire.

We grow weary of tempers, self-obsession, childishness, foolish fears and insecurities. Who wants to remain in that place? But we cannot merely will it so.

 Jesus employed a metaphor of a vine and its branches. The vine provides the water and nutrition for the branches. They do not sustain themselves. All of the life flows through the vine. To cut a branch from a vine is to kill it. Remember, he’s the vine, and we’re the branches.

A camp counselor once showed my friend, Amy, two sticks. One was old, gray and brittle. The other was fresh, blossoming and green in the center.

 “Which of these two is alive?” she asked. Amy quickly pointed to the one from which the leaves sprang. “No,” she replied.  “Both are dead. Neither is connected to the branch.”

Growth results naturally from intimacy in relationships. The greatest growth stems from a closeness with Jesus.

Two things we need to remember. The first is that seasons for growth will come, and seasons without growth will come. Watching nature’s yearly routine reveals this.

The second is that growth itself is not our aim. Growth enables us to stand more closely to our beloved. Growth is the stripping away of selfishness. It is the acclimatization to staying near someone else for extended periods. We grow for intimacy’s sake. We don’t seek intimacy for growth’s sake.

How have you grown in the last year?
What fostered the growth?
Why do you want to grow?


© Revolworks 2006