Growing Up

Now the young man Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and also with man. ESV 1 Samuel 2:26

Facebook constantly reminds me of previous posts from years ago, many of which happen to be about my kids. It seems this Christmas especially it has reminded me of how much my kids have changed. I no longer have toddlers and preschoolers. I now have elementary and middle-schoolers, who are fast converting to teenagers. On one level, it’s sad to see the change. Most of them mentioned yesterday that “it didn’t feel like Christmas” which I think was also an indication they are growing up and Christmas is losing some of its magic feel (we actually had one of our best Christmases, so it wasn’t that we had a bad day). What’s the spiritual implication of this?

God exists outside of time. God never changes. He remains constant. But for some reason, He chose to create us within time–we grow and change. Our children grow up, we grow up, and things aren’t the way they used to be. This can be hard to embrace. My wife and I discussed last night this may have been our last Christmas with five kids. We may have eight next year, and it may be traumatic on some level for several of our kids. While this isn’t pleasant, it’s part of the path God calls us to walk. Perhaps the fact that our children are growing up should cause us to ask if they are growing spiritually as well. Yes, they no longer sing Christmas carols off-key at the top of their lungs. They no longer have a sparkle in their eyes at the wonder of the nativity. But through these changes, have they grown more spiritual or more cynical? Are they more interested in extravagant giving in the spirit of Christ’s birth or are they more self-centered and obsessed with materialism? Christmas changes gives us a time to reflect.

What about you? Are you growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus? Is your faith maturing? Did Christmas mean more on a spiritual level this year? Are you putting away childish things and embracing the call to go deeper in your faith? Growing up brings joys and challenges, but it happens regardless. Let’s embrace the change God brings as we grow into the image of Jesus.

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