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The Growing Pains of Our Faith

By Cathy Irvin
Staff Writer - Is it painful to grow as a Christian? Have you ever said in the natural that it hurts to grow up? Or … when will it all end? How many times have you heard someone say, "We must grow up in Christ," or "Let us move on to maturity in the things of God?" Other times we may have heard, "These trials help you to grow." I have heard these questions so much in sermons and books that it seems like it is a never ending process.

When I asked the Lord about this, God's response to me was, "It is."

I think I was hoping that some day I would feel like I had arrived. Because of the daily struggles caused from the pressures of life, and the trials that help to build character, I felt like I should be one of the best characters anyone could meet (just kidding).

I have been through so much that I understand what it means to go through the growing process.

The fruit of the Spirit will be evident to those around people who allow the Holy Spirit to deal with their imperfections. He will change them by helping them to have godly attitudes. They will find that they are more kind, patient, loving, and selfless. They will not be so critical or judgmental of others.

The list goes on and on. If at this point you feel you haven't arrived, don't worry. We are all making this same pilgrimage. The journey will end when we cross to heaven's side and the Lord says, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Because you endured, took up your cross, denied yourself, and followed Him, you will enjoy the rewards of the kingdom.

I remember when my grandson was young that he needed to have his mother rub his legs. He said that they hurt. She knew it was because he was a growing boy. She also understood that her touch made him feel better. There was nothing physically wrong with him, but he obviously felt pain until his mother ministered to him.

When we allow the Lord to minister to us, His touch is so soothing. Like the loving touch from my daughter to her son, we can feel God helping us to feel better too. These strokes of love are causing us to be healed and to grow to be more like Him. We must come to him during those times when we need Him and let Him pour in His grace, love, and peace.

The journey may seem to be too hard. But if you allow the Holy Spirit to deal with you in certain areas, the process will be easier.

In spite of all the trials, growing pains, or whatever you choose to call them, thank God there is a way out. The way out is Jesus. He promised that He would make a way of escape through every trial.

It is like going from kindergarten to the first grade, and then on to middle school, then to high school, and finally to graduation day. We don't want to stay behind a grade. We don't want to be like the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, going around the same mountain over and over again.

Let us tell the Lord that He has permission to teach us and we will do our best to get it right and eventually graduate.

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