Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” (Matthew 26:69-75)
This was one of Jesus's closest friends and followers, someone who claimed to believe with all his heart that Jesus was the Messiah... Sounds to me like Peter had some growing to do.
Speaking of growth... Wanna see some remarkable comparisons? Chris and I decided it would be neat to "recreate" some moments we had in the NICU and see how Mercy has grown. Honestly, the results took me by surprise. I checked and rechecked to make sure I hadn't resized the images incorrectly... to me, they are unbelievable and look photoshopped. What do you think?
|Look at those thighs!|
...and how much more of Chris's arm she occupies!
|This is the most unbelievable comparison.|
Her head! ...and her forearm that was once the size of Chris's thumb!
|This is the same hat. The color looks different due to lighting,|
but see that crease in the hat in the left photo?
That's where it's folded in the right photo!
I'm just not sure you can grow without showing signs of growth. Take Peter for instance... Jesus was crucified, buried, resurrected and appeared to His disciples, Peter was witness to all of this, and Peter's faith grew. So much, in fact, that after Jesus' ascension into heaven, Peter preached to the crowds, the same Peter who denied Jesus three times just days earlier. This is what happened:
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words...
...Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it."
...And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
...So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:14,22-23,38&41)
Growth changes us. No... GOD changes us. God initiates growth in us, and when we grow, we change. You cannot claim to be growing in your faith if you look the same as you did yesterday. If Mercy's little head still fit in the palm of Chris's hand like it did in that first photo, I could not sit here telling you that she was growing. She would be stagnant and unhealthy, and we would have to address that. In the same way, if you say your desire is to grow in your relationship with Christ, but you look the same as you have looked forever, that is something you may need to address. There are many areas in my personal life where I'm struggling with this. Anxiety, gossip, distrust, etc... I need to grow, I need to grasp for the growth my Savior offers me.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
It is a beautiful and incredible thing to overcome your struggles and allow God to grow you. It's an AWESOME thing to come out on the other side a new creation. What are some areas where you need to grow? Have you asked God to grow you, or have you become stagnant, wanting to grow but maybe not wanting to look different? Let me encourage you, God is so good, so worthy of your complete trust. He is working in me in incredible ways through the work He has done in my daughter. He will work in you too. Don't be afraid to ask, it's much much scarier to stay the same, 2 pounds, 15 inches, skin and bones... Let's grow together, let's put some meat on our bones!