Have you ever felt a growing pain? Many people tease me and tell me that I don’t even know what growing pains are, because I’m so short. 😛 😉 Believe it or not, though, I have felt a few in my life.
While I speak of physical growing pains, I’ve also experienced emotional and spiritual growing pains. Growing pains hurt (well duh, that’s why they’re called growing pains) but they always help us to grow.
You may wonder where I’m heading with this, but I have recently had a lot of time to think and soul-search, as a result of a recent situation. Hard situations often frustrate us. It’s easy to get mad when we don’t understand the whys, the whens, the hows, and the reasons behind the things we go through.
When something hard comes our way, we don’t normally look at it as a way to grow and mature (at least I don’t normally look at it that way). We are so quick to shake a fist at God when we’re confused. As humans, we want to know everything, and do as we please. We want to make our own decisions, and take our own chances. Often we feel we know better than those who talk to us and try to guide us down the right path. We like to think that we control our lives, but in all honesty, God does a way better job at it then we do.
Situations always come for a reason. Sometimes it’s a reason we aren’t able to see until years later, but there is always a reason. My God isn’t a tyrant who loves inflicting painful situations on humans. In fact, He takes so much care of us, and keeps believing in us when (in my opinion) He should’ve given up a long time ago.
3 When I look up and think about Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in their place, 4 what is man, that You think of him, the son of man that You care for him? 5 You made him a little less than the angels and gave him a crown of greatness and honor. 6 You made him to rule over the works of Your hands. You put all things under his feet:
We really should be in awe at the kind of God we serve. We’re like grasshoppers compared to Him, but He stills takes care of us. He cares for us enough that He doesn’t let us feel comfortable when we’re not doing right.
Something I have proven recently is that God handpicks our storms and battles. He prepares us for them, way before we even know they exist. Nathaniel shared a part of a message he heard recently with me. In the message, the preacher talked about the tree that the Israelites needed to make the bitter water sweet (Exodus 15:22-26).
A tree? In the desert? Have you ever stopped to think about what a healthy tree would be doing in the middle of the barren desert? I hadn’t stopped to consider it until Nathaniel shared this part of the message with me. It really impacted me. God had obviously planted (or sent one of His angles to plant) it several years before, since it takes several years for a healthy tree to grow. God knew way before that they would need that tree, and He made sure that it was kept healthy until it was time for them to use it to make bitter waters sweet.
This leads me to think that God thinks out what we’re going to face way before, and has confidence that we’re going to be able to stand the trial of fire (Job 23:10). He plans it out, and gives us everything that we’re going to need to make it through. It is common to think that He passes us through a trial and (while we’re being processed) forgets about us, but that’s not true. The Bible says that He is faithful, and won’t let us be tempted beyond what we can withstand.
1 Corinthians 10:13 King James Version (KJV)
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
As I’ve learned, (from personal experience) we often choose to ignore the ways that God provides out of a temptation. We often think our way is best, but trusting God always pays off!
Sometimes, we have to go through heartbreaking experiences, so that we appreciate our growing pains, and draw closer to God. Why is it that it’s so easy for us to back away from our relationship with God when everything in our life is picture perfect? We get angry at God when everything goes wrong, but it wouldn’t happen if we only remained constant in our walk with God.
As I mentioned before, I firmly believe that God prepares us for our trials in ways we don’t even see. I know it’s true for me! About a year ago, I went through a very lonely season in my life. Everybody I considered close to me (except for my family) for some reason or other kept walking away, one by one. It caused many emotions and confusing nights of soul-searching. I prayed that God would send me true friends who would be loyal, no matter what.
After a few months, God began to answer my prayers in unbelievable ways. (One was blog stalkers…achem…Maddi. 😛 😉 ) God brought many people into my life in just the right time, two main ones being Lauren and Maddi, which you’ve heard a lot about in my blogs. I think anybody who reads my blog can see how much a part of my life they are (well almost everybody, that is).
These past few months, I’ve been in a growing pain stage, and they have been super supportive and have helped me when no one else can. I believe God placed them in my life for that specific reason, and I believe that someday I’ll have a chance to return the favor (that’s what friends are for, after all.)
I’m thankful for a God that knows me, and doesn’t give me anything I can’t handle. I’m amazed at how much confidence He shows me, after all the times I’ve let Him down. I’ve come to embrace the growing spurts God has called me to…although not easy, they are always worth it. I want to be a vessel that the Potter can use and be proud of.
Next time you are in a tight spot, or facing an uncomfortable situation, remember that He is refining us (Job 23:10). Instead of questioning everything, embrace the pain, knowing that it all is helping you to grow. I don’t want to miss out on the life that God has planned for me, or settle for the road that’s easiest to walk on. Nothing worth having comes easy. There’s always a struggle to get or achieve something special, but it’s always worth it.
Let’s bloom and thrive where God plants us, no matter how uncomfortable the circumstances may be. I want to grow, no matter what it takes! Growing and maturing is always worth the process.
Thank you for reading, and have a blessed day!