Sunday, March 26, 2017

Growth Chart

"Sometimes I think I focus so much on how far I still have to go 
that I forget to look back and see all the ground He's helped me cover."

When we have our babies, it seems like we spend more time at the pediatrician's office than we do anywhere else. There are constant weigh ins, measurements, and checks to make sure that they are thriving outside of the protective place they called home for nine months. As those appointments eventually slow to once a year, the growth chart often finds a spot on our wall where we can mark off evidence of what is taking place over time. What's ironic, is that there comes a point where we desperately want to stop seeing the physical changes because they are a reminder that the time is coming when they will soon leave us for good.

As I look at my kids and see how much they've grown and changed, it brings joy and sadness. I want them to be successful and do amazing things in their lives but I also desperately want them with me forever. The thought of not seeing them daily is too much for my mommy heart to bear. But because I can see their maturity increasing, their independence growing, and their abilities flourishing, I know deep down that they will be okay. I just wish I could keep a baby monitor on forever to always be sure that they are okay.

I wonder though if God has a growth chart on each of us. Does He watch our progress? Does He keep track of how far we've come? Does He cheer us on to victory and put a trophy in our room in heaven when we overcome? Do we have stacks of crowns waiting for us to cast at His feet when we get there?

More than that, I wonder if He gives us glimpses into what He sees so that we continue to persevere. There are days it's just hard to keep going when you feel like you're going nowhere fast. But are those the times He sends a word of encouragemtent, almost like a grace-filled post it on the bathroom mirror, meant to remind us of how far we've come? Sometimes I think I focus so much on how far I still have to go that I forget to look back and see all the ground He's helped me cover.

I don't know if keeping my own version of the Book of Chronicles would help, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. A place to keep track of the things I've done right. Not as a source of pride, but a reminder of what I was able to do with His strength. The times I didn't verbally respond without thinking, the opportunities I had to serve another and went straight to it, the moments I immediately deflected the glory to Him for what someone witnessed instead of praising Him in retrospect. All the things I know are a struggle to remind me that I am getting better, growing, and reflecting Him more and projecting myself less.

I won't know until I get to heaven if there are markings on the wall or a pretty banner with milestones that bear my name or not. But until that day comes, I want my focus to remain on how far Jesus has brought me and the joy He gives on the way.

Lord, Your perspective of me is the one I want to maintain. When You look at me, You see the blood of Jesus that has made me worthy in Your sight. Help me to remember that seeking my perfecter is what You desire and that perfection will come when I am with You in eternity. And in the meantime, I will praise You for the glimpses of growth You let me see.  Amen.

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