Out behind the trailer where we lived while I was in high school, there was a swing set and a small paved area with a basketball hoop. Before starting in on my homework, I often processed my day at school while swinging or trying to improve my free throw or layup. One afternoon stands out in my memory.

I remember sitting on the swing as it gently swung side to side thinking through what God wanted from me. I knew others who struggled thinking God wanted us to do everything perfectly. God had kept me from the perfectionist trap largely because I lacked the skill set to do most anything average, let alone above average.

One of my Christian teachers or my mom or dad or pastor must have gotten me thinking on Psalm 1 or 2 Peter 3:18 or Luke 2:52. I don’t remember what exact verses were going through my head, but I remember the conclusion I came to: God wants me to grow. Simply grow. Grow in knowing Him. Grow in obedience. Grow in finding ways to share Him with others. While the end product of my growing may indeed please Him, right now I’m nowhere close to final maturity. However, He is delighted that I am in the process of growing.

Growing was an area where I, like every other living thing on the planet, had personal experience. My physical growth happened naturally. The trees and plants around me didn’t work at growing. They just took in rain and sunshine and grew.

Why share these simple musings of my adolescent brain? Three reasons:

  1. There’s freedom for all Christ-followers in understanding that we please God, not by perfect performance, but by natural growth. God wants us to enjoy the process. Relax knowing God designed you to grow.

2. You may have noticed that if you buy a van, you suddenly develop van-awareness and notice vans all over. Focusing on growth will give you growth-awareness as you read God’s Word. While spiritual growth is natural, it’s not automatic. Study what God shares in His Word about how to grow.

3. The thoughts in my head that day were likely put there by a grown-up who had no clue how the Scripture seed planted would take root. You have no idea how a Bible verse you share with your children today may be what the Holy Spirit will use to help them as they start or continue in their walk with Christ. Share God’s Word.

What’s has God used to teach you about growing in Him?



  1. Tracy

    Breathtaking thoughts! I have had so much loss in my life in the past few years that I am confused about how to move forward, but this can give me new focus. Thank you.

    • Esther Wilkison

      Thank you for your comment, Tracy. I am sorry to hear you have had many losses. Grief certainly has the capacity to confuse. May God give you clarity as you GROW in Him through the water of His Word and the light of His presence. More of Him to you. May He comfort, strengthen, settle you as He restores your soul.

  2. Millie Rader

    Tracy, I can relate. I lost both my Mom and my brother in 2016. What saddened me the most is that I was not strong or wise enough to prevent their deaths. Working through this horrible sense of loss and my own perceived inadequacies, I can finally hear God’s voice as He tells me to be still and know that He is God… and I am not.

  3. Anonymous

    Esther, today is my youngest son’s 30th birthday. I posted some pictures from his early days and almost included Proverbs 30 which was part of my devotion this morning. It contains a warning for my son. I had decided not to share it with him so as not to antagonize, but after reading your article, I realize that I must. Thank you!


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