Many years ago, when we lived in Singapore, even before the boys were born, I was given the privilege of preaching at our church there. I remember I titled the sermon “When Growing Hurts”. It included an explanation of how, in God’s infinite love, he would sometimes let us go through pain to help us grow. I gave the following example: When a child is learning to walk you intuitively know he is eventually, going to fall, to hurt his knees, his hands, or maybe, if there is a table nearby, he will get a bump on his forehead. You just know that, so you take the necessary precautions; you child-proof everything, you stand (or kneel) close by, stretch out your arms without touching him to let him walk and explore on his own, but close enough to hold him, if needed. You do not keep the child from walking because that will cripple him, it will stunt his growth, it will harm him. You don’t carry him in your arms every day because you know that at some point, he will be too big to be carried around, he will not be self-confident because he does not know how to walk, fall and get up again. You simply teach him to walk when he is supposed to learn to walk, watch him as he learns, and clap as he can run a distance without trampling on his own feet.
As a mother, I experience these growing pains every day as I watch the boys grow. Physically, the boys know how to walk. But they are learning how to walk in the Spirit, by faith, according to the Lord’s will, and they have fallen. But see, it is not as hard to deal with their falls as it is to deal with myself in them. Why? because I can see my own reflection in them, and how to this day I struggle with accepting the pain that, sometimes, comes with growing and learning valuable lessons. Different issues, same scenario.
They are learning to put up with their peers, to stand up on their own ground. They are learning that if you make mistakes, you must mend things and apologize. They are learning to pray and set apart a time for the Lord to truly learn to hear His voice. But, most importantly, they are learning that God is faithful despite the physical and emotional pain of growing up and adjusting to life and its challenges.
See, God’s faithfulness is not directly proportionate to perfection in life.
God’s faithfulness is directly proportionate to peace despite the circumstances.
As I watch my family and I grow, tread, walk, run in this path the Lord has laid before us, I can rest in the knowledge that the Lord deals with us as a family, but also, He is dealing with each one of us individually. In His love, He is not leaving any one of us behind.
Learning to walk means hurting sometimes. Growing up means falling, getting up and trying again, it means making mistakes. But God has child-proof things for you. He is near. He is close. He is stretching out His arms around you. And He loves you too much to stop you from learning these lessons in life.