Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Ouch, ouch . . . OUCH! I thought to myself while lying in bed one night. My legs REALLY do hurt!
I was nearing my teenage years, and my prepubescent body was in the middle of a growth spurt. Later on in life, my mom told me that she had known I was going to be tall even as a young child, because of the great distance between my hip bones and my knees—it was a pretty good stretch and still is!
Those of us who are taller (or “closer to heaven” as I sometimes jokingly say) have known these growing pains all too well in our formative years. I spent many nights like that with much cramping and twitching and discomfort as I tried to rest. Now it wasn’t that excruciating to feel my legs growing longer, but it surely wasn’t pleasant. Regardless, I needed to grow physically in order to become the woman that God had designed and purposed for me to be.
If they could talk, I’m sure many of the flowers around us this first day of spring might say the same thing in this refreshing season of the year. They’re in the midst of a growth spurt as well. What was once hidden from the human eye is now bursting through sometimes rocky and root-filled ground and ready to realize its full potential. I’m sure it’s not exactly an entirely pleasant growing process either, even though it eventually yields a glorious beauty that can be appreciated by all and undoubtedly points to the master Creator.
I dare say it’s similar to the Christian walk, is it not? Usually the times of growth in our lives are painful and involve traveling through a dark valley. And then there’s usually a turning to the Lord. It’s just what we do as humans. When we hurt, when we are pressed upon, when we experience discomfort in our lives, we cry out and turn to our Creator.
Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer (Psalms 4:1).
I’ve called out in this manner many, many times in my life. And although I wasn’t immediately delivered from whatever difficult circumstances I was going through at the time, I knew that God was with me, working in me and walking right beside me as I made my way along the valleys.
Pastor Tony Evans of “The Alternative” radio broadcast ministry reminds us . . .
“If you’re in emotional turmoil, know by faith the Lord is with you. And know that means that his power is there and his grace is there. And what they will do is comfort you. . . . There is a valley that God calls us to walk through. . . . What I can promise you is that in the valley of the shadow . . . that you don’t have to walk through alone . . . God will be with you and if you will cast your eyes on Jesus Christ, he will meet you where you are. So you keep walking. You don’t throw in the towel . . . you don’t walk this road alone."
When we go through valleys in life, we are changed because this is by God’s design. And our victories point to the One who has brought us through. Praise God for the new life he gives us through Jesus Christ! And praise him that he doesn’t give up on us as we continue growing in him!
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalms 100:5).
Intersecting Faith & Life:
As long as you have walked with God, how many times has he failed you? And how many times have you strayed away and failed him? Our Father patiently takes care of us as we grow in faith. Let’s thank him for his loving-kindness today!
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