Surviving Spiritual Growing Pains
There’s lots of construction going on where I live. There are two new shopping centers going in and an intersection being completely redone. It seems like everywhere I go I’m met with disheveled roads, ugly mounds of dirt, and traffic cones.
And honestly I’m kind of sick of it.
Yes, I will be happy to have the new stores, but the construction is getting on my nerves. I just want it done. I would rather not have the new stores than put up with months of construction. I want those stores to be finished and the roads paved right now.
I’m beginning to realize I’m that way in my spiritual life as well.
I would rather stay where I am now than go through whatever it takes to get to where God wants me to be. I want the transformation He has planned for me to instant. I don’t want to put up with the construction and traffic cones making things inconvenient.
I’m not one hundred percent certain, but I’m pretty sure that makes me a brat.
Possibly even a snot nosed brat.
But here’s the thing, growth isn’t possible without some disruption. And sometimes that means growing pains. As much as I’d like to think that I have “arrived,” I still have a lot of growing to do.
There’s a remodeling going on in me. Walls are being torn down, and light being shed on long hidden problem areas. Sometimes cleaning up the rotten places is painful.
When we come to Christ, we are instantly transformed from children of darkness to children of light. But becoming a perfect reflection of our Savior takes a lifetime.
Not even the apostle Paul considered himself to have arrived. He said in Philippians:
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:” Philippians 3:12
From the moment we put our lives in God’s hands we become a construction zone. He is constantly molding and shaping us into the image of Christ. Sometimes that process can be painful and messy.
But he stays with us. He’s there every step of the way, to guide us and nurture us.
The process requires trust that our Heavenly Father wants only what is best for us.
Not necessarily our material best, but our eternal best.
What we think is for our best may not really be. Kind of like when our kids want to eat cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our father knows better than we do what we need.
The things we ask God to rescue us from, may just be the things we need to become a perfect reflection of Christ.
He knows where we need to grow and change. He knows all of the wall walls that need tearing down and rough places smoothed over.
The more problem areas are repaired, and the more complete our restoration, the more like Christ we become.
If we resist the process takes longer. And we can quench the Holy Spirit and halt it all together. (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
He doesn’t force change on us any more than He forced salvation on us.
We have to choose to set aside our willfulness and pride, and choose to take part in the work of grace. Then we must daily surrender to His continued work in our lives.
We have to surrender our lives into the hands of Him that is able to keep us from falling, and present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 1:24)