Failure to thrive ∙
I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. – Jeremiah 31:3
1 John 4:16-19
16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
19 We love, because He first loved us.
Failure to thrive is way too common among infants in the United States. It is found in 5-10% of children seen as outpatients by primary care physicians. What is failure to thrive? Children are diagnosed with failure to thrive when their weight or rate of weight gain is significantly below when compared to other children of similar age and sex. Infants or children that fail to thrive seem to be dramatically smaller or shorter than other children the same age. Their physical growth and development are decelerated or arrested. The reason for failure to thrive is inadequate nutrition.
Many children of the King suffer from spiritual failure to thrive. It often stems from inadequate spiritual nutrition and the application of biblical principles.
Life is made up of all the little decisions and choices we make. Often, we cannot control what happens or has happened, we can only control how we respond to it. Many of us have regrettable history, characterized by fear and torment. We can dwell in the past, but there’s a great price to be paid. When we brood over our past, it gravely impacts our present and devastates our future.
When we reflect upon everything that has happened to us, we have a choice. We can accept it from the hands of our loving Father God as a gift, an opportunity to grow and become more like the Lord Jesus Christ. Or, we can see it as an obstacle, a detriment, a life-altering anchor that holds us fast. The latter causes us to stall out and get trapped in a repeating, spiritual “failure to thrive” cycle.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade speaks to the outcome of our choices: life or death. “You must choose. But choose wisely. For as the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you” (Grail Knight regarding the true Grail).
It is high time to stop choosing the false Grail.
We have a choice between either love and peace or fear and torment. Too often we choose to wallow in our fear and torment and allow them to define us. This is just not right. The Father never intended His children to spend their lives in “the Temple of Doom.”
Jesus proclaimed for all time that He came to give us the gift of life, not just any life, but abundant life.
John 10:10 I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
REFLECT & PRAY
So much has happened that we can never take back. We will never get a “redo” of the past. But something better is now available. A present and future in the loving, comforting arms of my Father God.
Father, how I wish I could package up my past and put it behind me once and for all. Encourage me to make better choices and to walk in the freedom of Your truth.
In the place of tormenting thirst, the Lord Jesus Christ offers overflowing waters of the Spirit of the living God.
37 Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!
38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
For us His children, it all begins with the knowledge and experience of His great and delightful love.
1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
The Father wants His children to live in an atmosphere of love and confidence, not dread and doom. We need not be apprehensive regarding either life or death, for we are being perfected in and through the Father’s love.
We have no reason to be anxious for our future because our sins were judged once and for all when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross.
We do not need to suffer dread of or guilt for the past. From the very first, our relationship with the Father was one of love. It was not because we loved Him. Many of us were indifferent, in denial, or actively hostile to Him. But despite it all, He loved us.
Romans 5:8, 10
8 God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
The Father loved us when we were not part of His family and were defiant and rebellious. When we were enemies, He sent Christ to die for us. Can you imagine what is in store for us now that we are His children?
1 John 4:18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
There is absolutely no reason to be afraid of the Father. The more we experience His love, the more we love Him back. As our love relationship with Him grows, the less fearful we become. Eventually, we will cease being fearful of what might happen. Why? Because our worst fears are illusionary and simply will never happen. Recognize this is nothing but a diabolical ploy and stratagem.
Fear is the opposite of love. Paul condemns cringing, groveling fear. He sees it as tantamount to living in cowering slavery. Much of our personal torment begins with fear. When we fearfully contemplate what might be, we emotionally and spiritually torture ourselves.
But the Lord Jesus promised, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).
This is ultimate freedom and lightness of being. It comes through our relationship with the Father and the Son.
6 I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you have known me, you will know my Father also.
Jeremiah 31:3 I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
And the future is in His hands. All of humanity is on a collision course with the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has told us what will happen. Rather than fear, rejoice.
Revelation 22:20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
© Dr. H 2022