I have always loved gardening and landscaping. I had large gardens while in Africa, growing everything from strawberries and pineapples to radishes and bananas. Now that spring has officially “sprung” in Michigan, I can’t wait for the grass to grow and plants to pop out and grace the land with beauty. While living in California, my father had a fondness for fuschias. He had several hanging flowering fuschias. In an attempt to grow more beautiful flowers, he gave the plants a generous portion of ‘rapid-grow,’ you know, the fertilizer guaranteed to bring health instantly to all plant life. He watered and watched, and within two weeks, the plants were totally dead! In his mourning I comforted him by stating, “what a wonderful fertilizer that ‘rapid-grow’ was to make your plant grow extremely fast until it died of old age!”
Throughout our lives, I’m sure there have many times that we have desired growth (not just physical growth). I remember my early days of trying to learn to use a computer. I wanted desperately to grow in my understanding of the software and how to “make life easier by using the computer.” We all desire to grow in various areas of our lives. This is natural because we are living organisms.
God has designed living organisms to grow! Inherent in the Creator’s design for living organisms is the innate ability and desire to grow. Everything that is living grows. Look out the window at everything God created and see the principle. God has made man a living organism and therefore he grows. He is to grow physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially, intellectually, professionally, and in many other ways. This growth begins at birth, and in a healthy organism, continues throughout life. It has been said, “The moment you stop growing you begin to die.” All that has life must grow, and more importantly, is designed to grow.
And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10
At Grace Christian University our business is “growing students,” which includes broadening their minds to understand God’s Word and God’s world. But we also desire to see each student grow spiritually to be the person God wants him or her to be. In order for that to happen, we must be spiritually alive and mature in the faith to model and mentor students. Much of the spiritual life is “caught” and not just taught in theology and Bible classes.
Growing at Grace means more than simply the “growing students.” We also must grow the program offerings at Grace. While we are soundly committed to our ministry degree tracks to prepare pastors, missionaries, youth leaders, and worship leaders for our Grace Churches, we also believe God calls people into all vocations. It is there they will minister (full-time) for the rest of their lives – reaching many people who could never be reached by their church vocational counterparts. Growing at Grace means we practice and model that which we want to be practiced by our students when they leave us.
“I don’t want to die!” Inherently, that means you want to continue to grow. In submission to God, ask Him to “grow” you. He is able to do what we are unable to do in our own power. Let’s grow forward together!