Growth is generally good. Some exceptions exist: growth in the size of most waistlines, growth in debt, growth in the size of a tumor, and too much growth in someone’s self-esteem.
To the economist, growth in the number of jobs is good, growth in the number of new homes is good, and growth in efficiency is a good thing. A tree growing is good—more strength, more fruit, and more shade. In our interpersonal relationships, growth in trust and service is good. Physical growth for a child is good. Growth in a mutual fund reserved for a child going to college is also good. Growth in learning for children of all ages is a good thing.
The Boys: Two Years Ago
As a pastor, I want to see people grow. I want to see people achieve and chase down dreams. One of the biggest dreams I have for us is that we grow in our relationships with others. We need healthy human relationships that feed and nurture us. The single biggest dream I have for us is that we will grow in our relationship with God.
- Growth isn’t easy. Just ask the body builder.
- Growth doesn’t generally happen fast. Just ask the oak tree.
- Growth doesn’t happen without setbacks. Just ask the skilled investor.
Moses was a pretty tough act to follow. After Moses breathed his last breath on Mouth Pisgah, Joshua was in charge. He could see the Promised Land and it was his responsibility to lead the people there. But, two pesky problems existed: a river that needed to be crossed and a few Canaanite tribes that weren’t going to give up this land without an argument.
Joshua wasn’t overly special with the possible exception that he didn’t die in the wilderness. He became a leader through process of elimination probably more than anything else.
So Moses did as the Lord commanded. He presented Joshua to Eleazar the priest and the whole community. Moses laid his hands on him and commissioned him to lead the people, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses. –Numbers 27:22-23
Joshua went from being a survivor in the wilderness to an assistant to Moses to a person who made a river stop dead in its tracks and who got the sun and the moon to put on the brakes and stand still. Growth wasn’t easy for Joshua. There were some hard times for him. He didn’t develop in a day; he developed daily. Growth was a process for him. Joshua experienced some bumps along the way, but he kept on keeping on. Joshua loved God and he loved people.
In the end, it turns out Joshua was one of two people to experience slavery in Egypt and freedom in the Promised Land. God used a simple person who was willing to grow to do something extraordinary.
God is wanting to do this in your life as well.