“Your life will shake in the process of maturing into the person God intends.” Peter Scazzero
Remember when you were still a child and every once in a while you would find yourself doubled over in pain, or feeling discomfort within your body that had no visible source?
I do. I remember well the day that I went to my parents to tell them my body was hurting and I thought something was wrong. Without hesitation my dad stood up from the dining room table where he was sitting with my mom, walked over to where I was standing and took hold of my right arm. He lifted it high in the air, before drawing it out to the side. He then gently tugged on it a few times. He did the same with my left arm. After which he then had me do five jumping jacks. I noticed that while I was jumping he and my mom were exchanging little smiles. When I was still again he informed me that I was going to survive, that the pain I was feeling was growing pains and that they were perfectly normal.
I admit, there was a little part of me that had hoped there was something catastrophically wrong because growing pains should not have worried me so much. Yet, at the same time I was filled with relief that I wasn’t going to need an operation.
Because this was the first time I had heard of growing pains – at least in a context that related to me enough to pay attention – I spent some time wondering about what was going on. That day while mom was in the laundry room I went in and asked her what was happening and why it hurt. She explained to me that as kids mature their bones grow and sometimes when there is a growth spurt the muscles surrounding the bones are stretched and that stretching causes discomfort.
Did I want to go back to the day before when I felt good and had no discomfort? Nope. I was growing, and the excitement that came with knowing I was getting taller made me want to grow more, despite the groaning of my muscles.
When we grow in Christ and make changes to our lives to remove obstacles that are hindering Christian maturity, just like my muscles groaned at the pain of stretching, it is often hard for those around us to feel good about the changes in our lives. Some may even get upset and try to undo the growth by using past experiences to entice us back to the emptiness. Or worse, remind us of our past mistakes, thus discouraging continued growth.
I encourage you, keep changing, continue growing, and don’t be angry with those who may not appreciate your growth. God’s promise to us is not that we will encounter no strife in this life, God’s promise to us is complete when we are fully walking with Him. In Hebrews we read about many men and women throughout scripture who clung to the promise and lived by faith even when they faced the pain of beatings, stoning, and mistreatment.
In this life we will have pain, I want my pain to be continued growing pains and not pain from shame.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Today’s thought: Even though growth hurts in the moment, the reward is far greater than the pain of sin.