Growth

Photo credit: bohemianitkupilli.blogspot.com

Isaiah 53:5 (MSG)

2-6 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
    a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
    nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
    our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
    that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
    that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
    Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
    We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
    on him, on him.

I love this quote. I often feel a little…out of place. Kind of stuck in that perpetual feeling of puberty where you just feel a mess. It’s like that age where you don’t know what to do with your hair because it’s greasy now, and your feet are bigger than the rest of your body, and you haven’t learned what styles of clothes actually flatter your body. Right? Well that feeling, exists. I’m 27 years old and that feeling exists. And I think as awful as it can feel at times, it’s part of being a Christian. We are continually being made new and learning to be more and more like Christ and less and less like ourselves. God has placed unique purpose and dreams within us and as we grow up in the faith it is normal to feel like they are too large, or we can also feel like we don’t know what they are and as a result feel loss in a sea of possible callings or purposes. It’s important to remember this is not a fast growth spurt. We will spend our entire lives learning. And I bet it won’t end here. I bet we’ll still be learning and growing in eternity.

I like this Bible verse because it reminds us that Jesus was the same way. The verse reminds us that he was “a scrawny seedling” and “a scrubby plant in a parched field.” The Merriam Webster dictionary refers to scrubby as “small and not growing well” and “inferior in size and quality”. God Himself in human form was referred to this way. It also goes on to say “there was nothing attractive about him”. I don’t know about you but I have felt all of these things. In fact I’m feeling these things today as I post this. I feel “inferior” “not growing well” and especially “nothing attractive”. But the great thing is even though Jesus Himself was thought to be all of these negative things, the truth is that He was so much more.

I encourage you that no matter how you are feeling, Christ felt it, but ultimately we know who we are. And if we don’t know who we are we need to remind ourselves who Christ makes us and who God thinks we are. Not what others see.

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