This is part of 2 of a 5-part series on How to Grow almost anything.
When one of my daughters was around 5 or 6 years old, she used to get terrible pains in her legs. For us as parents, it was always agonising to see her like that in pain. They were in fact growing pains. Although these pains are not directly associated with growing, they are fairly common in young children.
Pain, common to Growth
But what is common in personal growth, organisational growth and certainly spiritual growth, is pain. Our church remained small for the first 4 years of its existence. As a result, we struggled to make a living. And it was painful! The upside was that our little church became a close community. As the church grew, the community aspect of our church changed. Although we were all praying for the church to grow, when it did, it was painful. Because, through this new growth, we lost our sense of intimacy. For some that was too much of a loss and they left the church. Quite ironic really! But painful never-the-less.
In my faith journey I have discovered that most of my growth has come through seasons of pain. It was during one of these painful periods I was inspired to write a book. And although the book was never a New York Times best seller, it was an incredibly rewarding time and I “grew” a great deal during that season.
1 Peter 1:6, says, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while”. There are many other encouraging Bible verses that tell us the that trials and hardship are not just part of the Christian life, I would add, pain is a part of life in general.
5 ways to respond to pain
Our response or approach to “pain” will determine how much we “gain” or grow. Here are some thoughts to consider in seasons of pain;
- Don’t think you are a victim because things are hard. Hardship is part of the human experience.
- Know that this season will not last for ever. Most of what we experience in life is something that we go through, and not something that we become.
- Look to a “higher source” or “humble yourself”. Of course in my context, that “source” is Jesus. Jesus helps me to gain a broader perspective on life itself. Humbling yourself is always a good thing. Coming to terms with your fallibility may be humbling, but it will enable you to overcome.
- Find communities of courage. By this I mean, seek out others who are going through or have been through similar circumstances. They will help you find the courage to face your pain.
- Go to church.
All inspiring and compelling stories are stories about people overcoming obstacles. You will be much richer for having endured pain. And although in the moment, it is hard, however you will overcome. And when you do, you will have “gained”.
Let me know what you think.