“That ye henceforth be no more children…But…may grow up unto him in all things…” (Eph.4:14-15)
When our granddaughter, Glory, was expecting her second child, she sent us a picture of Ethan, the soon-to-be big brother, lying in his new “grown-up” bed next to his old baby bed. When I saw it, I was reminded of something my mother used to say about a little one in Ethan’s position: “He’ll have to get up and get out of the way of the next one!”
As children in the family of God, this same principle holds true for us also, though we don’t always follow it. But, in the case of Ethan, it wasn’t such a bad thing. There are perks that come with growing up. For one thing, he got a new bed out of the deal, and from now on, he would always have someone to play with. But that would mean being willing to share.
God may, as the song says, “love me like I was His only child,” but I shouldn’t expect my brothers and sisters in Christ to treat me as though I were. More importantly, maturity brings with it a greater understanding and appreciation for the Father and His desires for us. When we grow up spiritually, we really are growing up. As the verse says, we “grow up unto him in all things.”
By giving up his baby things, Ethan, the baby, was being nudged toward the day when he will become Ethan, the man. And that’s the desired goal for you and me as believers: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (v.13).
Growing up is hard to do (growing pains, if you will), and there is a lot that goes into it; but the rewards are worth it. The four I once cuddled as babies grew up to be my friends. It’s wonderful to be a child of God, but it’s even better to grow up and be his friend.
“Abraham …was called the Friend of God. (James 2:23)