Growing Pains

GROWBut grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen. II Peter 3:18

My children experienced growing pains quite often when they were little. It wasn’t unusual for me to hear a pleading cry for help in the middle of the night for me to hurry and come soothe their pain.

I’d massage the hurting area, say a prayer, and offer words of comfort and love until they were no longer hurting. Sometimes, the pain took longer to subside, other times the pain left immediately.

Thankfully, this did not happen often. My children wanted to grow but they didn’t want the discomfort associated with growing.

I think about periods in my life where I felt spiritual growing pains. I wanted to grow in the Lord, but I did not want the aches and pains associated with that growth.

Interestingly, the pain my children experienced growing up would only flare up in the middle of the night – at a time when they were unaware their lives would be interrupted.

It also happened this way for me – not while I was asleep, but when I was least expecting it. Financial trouble, betrayal, heartbreak, difficult situations, work challenges and parenting obstacles would hit me out of seemingly nowhere.

Like my children’s experience, sometimes the hurt took longer to subside while other times, the pain left as fast as it came.

Once the growth period was over, I saw how developing my faith in the Lord increased in areas I needed it most and how beneficial it was to my life as a Christian.

But I didn’t always feel this way. I would complain to the Lord about my problem, cry and beg for Him to make things better. I turned to His Word for encouragement:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

I’ve come to appreciate the growing pains. Experiencing them teaches me more about my Jesus as I lean on Him for strength and determination to be the person He created me to be.

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Ephesians 4:15

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