Growth spurts

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” 2 Peter 1:3-9

If you have children you know how rapidly they grow.  It is truly a blessing to watch them grow but when they are young they easily can go through two shoe sizes in a year.  For many Haitian parents, money is very tight and hand-me-down clothes and a mom who can sew is a real blessing from God.  I am of the opinion that Haitian children take better care of their clothes than I did when I was their age.  The three children sharing the spoon at lunch time in the attached photo attend the Lutheran school outside of Hinche; two brothers and a sister.  Check out the hand-me-down shoes on the lad on the right who is waiting for his turn with the spoon.  Looking back on my journey there were times when my faith grew quickly from trials and challenges and then there were times when it seemed to be dormant; the Holy Spirit was calling my number but I said leave a message at the beep.  I wonder what our Heavenly Father is thinking about while watching our faith grow strong and then show signs of stagnation.  Surrendering everything to Christ can take just a moment, like a growth spurt in the lad on the right in the photo but spiritual growth is a lifelong process that takes place in cycles as we face tests and trials in this world.  As Peter puts it, we need faith, and then we grow in goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.  As time goes on, believers grow toward maturity in each of these qualities.  Do you have that desire for a growth spurt in your Spiritual awareness?  Want to help feed these three Haitian kids?  You have to step out of the boat before you can walk on the water.   

“Our lust for power, wealth and land diminishes the earth You planned.  Prevent our crimes and futile wars, convince us that all things are yours.  We rage and burn and kill and steal; but You redeem, restore and heal.   I AM forever WHO I AM.  Above you, beneath you, around you and within you; be still and know that I am God.”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

May God be with you…Jay