The other day, I picked up some weights and decided to lift my lower body. As I try to get my fitness back after baby, one key component is building my muscle mass back, because pregnancy and breastfeeding do a number on your muscle. (It’s those hormones, man.) It was a tough workout, but that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part is was comes next.
I. Was. Sore.
So sore, that I really struggled on my run the next day. There is nothing like that delayed onset muscle soreness that comes when you challenge your muscles to build and grow.
Because your asking your body to change, and change hurts.
And it got me thinking, we encounter a lot of pain and struggle in our lives, and God uses that to change us.
Growth is Uncomfortable
We all have our comfort zones. The cozy place where we are familiar and happy. Nothing hurts and everything is golden. Our lives are blissful and sweet, and often, our faith is an afterthought that doesn’t really take center stage in our lives.
Suddenly, live throws little curve balls at us, causing us to dodge and swerve. It’s unpleasant, unenjoyable, and uncomfortable. Suddenly, we realize that we have taken our eyes off of Jesus and he uses discomfort to bring us back and help us grow into the people and believers he wants us to be. Things like a job loss can push us to grow into a different calling. A difficult child can help us grow into strong mothers. A stressful time at home with medical scares or financial worries can help you and your spouse grow closer together.
Like a potter forming clay, these things help mold and change us.
Growth is Painful
Sometimes however, growth is extremely painful. Like a child waking up in the night with growing pains, anytime our Heavenly Father wants to push us to more, or challenge us to grow in his grace, it can be heartbreakingly painful. The loss of a pregnancy or child, a chronic disease, sudden accident, or death of a spouse are truly painful experiences.
But these too, help us grow.
A potter may mold the clay into shape, but it’s the searing fires of a kiln that make the pot hard, strong, and ready.
God Uses Your Pain
Those heartbreaking times are the growing pains that God uses to make you stronger. Your faith, such a blessing during difficult times, will grow and swell and make you cling to your Father more than you knew was possible. And that’s exactly what he wants.
As devastating as those growing pains are, we come out completely changed: strong, hard, and ready.
A New Creation
Those growing pains lead us into becoming the people God calls us to be. A difficult fertility journey can lead you into becoming the adoptive mother God has called you to be. An excruciating battle with a chronic disease or mental illness can lead you to becoming the voice of comfort and encouragement for those going through a similar struggle. And in every struggle, that pain can lead us into a deeper and stronger relationship with our Savior, and that is exactly what God has called us to.
If you find yourself struggling through a season of growing pains, I pray that God give you the strength to continue and find your peace with him.