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Free to GROW

Everything God created has a cycle of growth. Even you.

Yep. You.

You - and your tired, exhausted, overwhelmed self - are growing. Red blood cells form in your body in about 2 days, and 2 million are made every second! Everything inside of you is divinely designed to grow. The things you can touch like your skin and the things you can feel like your soul are all designed to grow. The only thing holding you back is your mindset.

Our bodies can have a growth spurt and our minds still be stunted.

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; but his mother named him Jabez, saying, “Because I gave birth to him in pain.” ~1 Chronicles 4:9, Amplified Bible

A lot has been said in the past about Jabez's story. What has always stuck with me is his capacity for growth. Jabez did not live his life under the stigma associated with his name, which meant "pain". No, "Jabez was more honorable than his brothers...". Pain would not define him. He believed in God's definition of who he was more than the labels attached to him. It was a life of true freedom and growth. And yet, living that honorable life was not his ceiling. Jabez still had some growing to do.

So do you.

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would indeed bless me and enlarge my border [property], and that Your hand would be with me, and You would keep me from evil so that it does not hurt me!” ~1 Chronicles 4:10 AMP

Notice the words "cried out".

Growing can be a painful process. Our Father in Heaven never promised we wouldn't experience pain, only that it would become (like in the words of the Apostle Paul) "a light affliction" when we lay it at his feet. We don't hear about Jabez crying out to anyone else except the "God of Israel". That in itself is growth.

And God granted his request. ~1 Chronicles 4:10b AMP

The prayer of Jabez is so often limited to financial blessing, when in reality most of the prayer dealt with areas of personal growth...

... that Your hand would be with me,...

... keep me from evil so that it does not hurt me!

Jabez understood. God must be with us if we are to grow into what he has for us. He must protect us from the things seeking to separate us from Heaven's favor, even if that evil feels good to us. Accepting God's role as our Protector means we are free to move about inside his glory. We are free to grow.