By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“God has a meaning in each blow of His chisel, each incision of His knife, He knows the way He takes.” – F.B. Meyer
I am six foot five.
I’ve always been the tallest kid in my class. My head has always hovered above the crowd. And I’ve always been able to reach things on the top shelf.
But all of this didn’t come without a cost. I remember when I was growing up, there would be some days when I would go to my Mom and complain about a pain in my knee or in my leg. After a round of discerning questions and a careful inspection, she would always conclude with a shrug, “Must be growing pains.”
I think that every child goes through this at one time or another. A sore leg or back that serves as a reminder that your bones are getting bigger and your thriving. But there are also growing pains of a different kind that each child must endure in order to mature.
The first time they scraped their knee. Their first break-up. The first time they heard a friend talk bad about them. The first time they felt betrayed. The first loss of a loved one. The first time they feel the consequences of their actions.
Life is full of growing pains of every kind.
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
The growing pains that we experience over our life, whether physical, spiritual, or emotional, all urge us on to improvement. Each time we go through pain or suffering, we have the choice to come out on the other side with new wisdom, a more mature character, and a deeper faith in God.
When trials come our way, it is easy to miss out on the opportunity for growth. We can wallow in self-pity, shut down and remain stagnant as an attempt at healing ourselves. We can look into ourselves as a source of strength. We can try and fix our own situation. But all of this stifles the improvement of our character.
On the other hand, we can choose to grow. We can cling to God and place our faith in Him. We can learn from our mistakes, gain new experience we’ve never obtained before, and God can use our suffering to shape our character more and more into His image.
God gives us the choice of growing through every trial. But we have to make the decision to take Him up on it.
Parents: The next time your children share with you about their growing pains of any kind, take the opportunity to tell them that they have to choose to grow through their trials.