I’ve been reading in a book titled “Learning In Christ’s School” by a Puritan named Ralph Venning. 1621-1674. The premise is there are four basic stages in a Christians life; Babes, Children, Young Men, Fathers. He makes a pretty clear case from scripture and has some insightful and encouraging thoughts. The context of this quote is that we are all at some stage of the four categories, and even if we bolt out of repentance and are soon a Father, or whether we are a babe all of our Christian life, we should find contentment.
“Let everyone be thankful and bless God for what he has attained, be it more or less.
Are any of you cedars in Lebanon when others are but shrubs as the hyssop on the wall, or as the lilies of the valley? Are any of you, like Saul, taller than your brethren by head and shoulders? Are you crowned with the grey hairs of wisdom and righteousness? Have you overcome the wicked one? Have you lain in the Father’s bosom? Give God the glory, who gave you the grace.
Are others of you recently come in, or of but little and low stature? Are you only babes in Christ? Yet despise not the day of small things. Let none of his mercies or consolations be small to you, who are less than the least of them all. It is great mercy to be one of Christ’s, even one of his little ones.
Our Lord Jesus chose twelve to be with him as his family, of whom three were admitted to be his confidants, Peter, James and John; and of these three, John was the darling. He was the disciple whom Jesus loved with a particular love and was admitted to lie in his bosom. Now if you are not a John, thank him if you are a Peter or James; if not of them, thank him that you are one of the twelve (but not Judas); if not one of the twelve, then one of the seventy, for he afterward enlarged the number, to do him any service abroad. Bless him that you are a member of his body, though an ear or a foot; that you are a star in his firmament, though not of the first magnitude, but the very least of all.”