Rylie often has "growing pains" in her legs. I had them too growing up and can remember the achy feeling so clearly. Recently, the past couple of weeks, she has had some pretty intensely. The kind that keep her up at night. I will just have to rub them for a while as she cries because they hurt so bad. The other day as I was rubbing her legs I realized that one day, I'm probably going to wish for these kind of growing pains for my daughter because I'm sure, as she gets older, the growing pains she experiences (emotional ones specifically) will be even more intense and more painful.
I have also been thinking alot about the "growing pains" we experience as children of God. Most of us wouldn't choose pain at any point in our life but it is often because of the pain we experience that we grow...spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc. At some level, I am thankful that Rylie is experiencing these growing pains because it tells me that she is growing and everything is "right" with her body.
Many times though, I know that we (including myself) do everything we can to avoid the pain. We create lives for ourselves where we are "comfortable" and we do everything in our power to avoid pain and discomfort. I don't believe that God wants us all miserable and suffering but I do believe that He can only show us himself when we stop relying on ourselves to make life "easy".
I read a quote in a book today that was written by a man who was imprisoned in Cuba in 1979 for handing out Gospel tracts. His time in the prison was horrific but I will spare you the detail! The point is this...that in the midst of all that he went through he wrote this: "God was gracious, merciful, and loving, asking only for a chance to prove Himself to me." I know without a doubt that God would absolutely love to show Himself to each and every one of us on a daily basis. The problem is that we don't want to step out of our comfort zone long enough to allow Him to do that because often times stepping out means being open to pain.
But it takes a sacrifice! A sacrifice of ourselves. A sacrifice of letting go of everything we think is important and allowing God to reveal Himself to us so that we KNOW what is truly important. It means serving and loving others even when it's not "convenient" for us. It means living lives open to "growing pains"!
I pray that my heart is willing to be a holy a living and holy sacrifice for the Lord so that He can show Himself to me. Let there be more of You Lord and less of me!