Paige, my near 3 year old, was in timeout recently because she had misbehaved. Salted water droplets fell from her eyes, as she sat in a corner of the room with her nose against the wall. Our lovely nanny Ethel followed the loud shrieks down the passage towards where Paige was sitting. Ethel tapped Paige on her shoulder and said, with wisdom that comes from experience alone, “It’s okay Paige, it’s okay – if you don’t cry, you won’t grow.”
It’s true to be said that the most challenging moments in life produce the most personal growth. We don’t grow, if we don’t cry. We don’t grow, if it doesn’t hurt – just a little. It’s in the moments of friction and resistance that bring about a need to grow. We either learn to adapt or we learn to change. When life is reluctant to play along with our schedules, it forces us to change our prescription.
Over time, if we buckle up our pride and lean towards the lessons God is teaching us in the difficulties, we will grow and mature and eventually we will begin to bloom and blossom. It’s not about giving in or giving up in the tough times but rather it’s about growing up and recognizing that pain doesn’t always equal failure. Instead it produces peserverance within us that enables us to face the future that God is preparing ahead of us, for us.
The beauty in trial is that we have a fair judge and helper. Jehovah Ezer – God our helper.
He enables us to walk through growing pains with grit and grace. His grace is our strength. Our weaknesses reflect His power. His power works best in our inabilities and insecurities. As we shift our struggles on to His shoulders and let go of that which binds us, our faith begins to increase and we begin to grow.
Paige is wiser today than she was yesterday, but still too immature for tomorrow. I am wiser today than yesterday because of what life has thrown at me, but I’m still to immature for what God has for me in the future. I need to grow. I need to grow in order to fully walk into everything that God has for me. He loves us too much to see us fail at that which He has planned for us. Therefore, He prepares us for what’s to come by refining our imperfections – day by day, struggle by struggle – He moulds us into who we need to be so that we can thrive in all that He has for us. We are continually being refined to look more like Jesus.
30 As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
Hebrews 4:15 – 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 – “8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
Romans 5:3-5 – “3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
- Reflect on what God is saying to you
- Read through scriptures
- Respond in prayer