My daughters asked my mom (their nana) to tell the story of my birth. She easily recalled the details of the day. The act of ushering my life into the world was still memorable to her all these decades later.
All of us are born. There isn’t a person among us that arrived any other way. In a moment, we slipped into this complicated, heartbreaking, beautiful world, taking a first breath, our eyes blinking as we came into the light.
Growth, on the other hand, is what we do for the rest of our lives. Our first job is to begin to grow. We roll over, sit up, impress everyone with our first words, and take our first wobbly steps. Growing is a natural progression, but it takes significant work and the encouragement of others along the way.
There’s just one sentence in the Bible to summarize Jesus’ life: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Paul uses similar wording, writing that we must “be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13, NLT).
The most significant growing is maturing spiritually. It’s easy to pray a prayer of salvation, but the work of growing in wisdom and stature is difficult. Life becomes scattered, exhausting, and full of grief. But in the quiet, we feel it—a deep desperation for Jesus to come and fill our emptiness. A longing to answer the whisper of the Holy Spirit to draw near to Him.
And so, in the freshness of this new year, may you know that the One who grew in wisdom and stature is with you. Notice how He has already been at work in you—people cheering for you, the sacredness of salvation, the joy of His Spirit. In the words of Isaac of Stella, “May the Son of God who is already formed in you grow in you—so that for you He will become immeasurable.”