"Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people." Luke 2:52
Growing in wisdom is evidenced by the fruit of our lives. Our heart. Our desires. Our thoughts. Even our actions. Where our treasures are, there our hearts will be also.
Growing in stature is more easily noticed; especially as a parent watches a child. As I change out my boys' closets and dresser drawers, it is apparent just how quickly they are growing in stature. As my 4 and 7 year olds exchange their too small clothing for sizes 6/7 and 10/12 it hurts my heart just a little. They are so quickly growing from little boys, into bigger boys, and one day men.
I think about Mary and Joseph, raising their boy Jesus. Their boy, yet God's too.
Their annual trips to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. That trip when Jesus was twelve; when they returned home only to find that their son was missing. Their trip back to Jerusalem, finding their son in the temple three days later. Can you imagine? Mary said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere." Luke 2:48
It makes me smile to read Mary's very motherly words. I've said it myself - to the child who's hiding in a clothing rack at Target, or the one who got away from me for a few seconds at the local pool when he was two, or the other who was laying under a bench at a soccer game once.
Jesus was very much a normal child, but by the age of twelve he'd become a teacher.
It is hard to imagine my children as twelve year olds, but it will be here before I know it. They will certainly have grown in stature - they were born with a significant height advantage! I pray that they will also have grown in wisdom and favor with God and man, and that they will continue to chase after Him for the remainder of their lives. I pray that our boys will be leaders, lovers of the Lord, standing tall for truth and righteousness, serving as the hands and feet of Jesus.
"Train a child in the way he should grow, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6
Even at these young ages, I am already seeing lessons that they must learn on their own. I've been in their shoes, I can tell them how this will turn out, but they must take the adventure for themselves... Mom's wisdom and experience won't due. It scares me just a little. Loving and trusting the Lord is a daily decision, and one that the boys must make for themselves. I pray like crazy that they will never stray far, but remain close to their heavenly father.