Growing Pains-Why Does It Take Pain To Get Us To Listen?

It took just a few short weeks before his knees began to cry out.  


He had put his whole heart, strength, and skill into preparing and working out for the upcoming spring football season.  But somewhere along the way, his knees said no.  This was devastating.  After waiting all his life to play and now that spring ball had begun, he would have to sit on the sidelines and watch.  

As believers, we often feel the same way at times.  Having surrendered our lives to Christ and now clothed in His righteousness, we can’t seem to do what we want to do for the Lord.  We run with our whole hearts, minds, bodies, and strength, only to find out we are weak.  Why?  Because while we are a new creation in Christ, our bodies have not fully grown into the likeness of God’s Son.  And when God decides it is time to develop a part of our character into His image, well,

It hurts.

It is at this junction of our walk with the Lord we have a choice.  While we don’t get to choose when or how we go through the process of becoming more like Christ, we do get to decide how we deal with the pain.  

Ignoring the Pain

Initially, our son tried to ignore the signs his body was trying to tell him.  The knees hurt a little, but nothing he couldn’t handle.  His desire to play overruled the message his body was trying to send regarding taking it easy.  

I could tell our son was extremely frustrated about this development.  He so wanted to play, and all the guys and the coaches were looking forward to it as well.  However, they too knew that he needed to rest or he would not be able to play in the fall.  Besides, how our son handled the situation could have positive or negative effects not only on himself but also on the team. 

We too can ignore the warning signs from God and keep on pushing and pursuing what it is we are trying to obtain.  When God gently nudges us to change an area that doesn’t look like Him, we can either accept it or justify our actions.  

One leads to greater pain in our lives while the other brings greater glory to the God whose grace sustains us in all areas of our lives.  

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’ power may reside in me.  So I take pleasure in weakness, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Even after we surrender to God’s transforming work in our lives, the WAY we submit also has an impact on our hearts and minds as well as those around us.  

Embracing the Pain With the Wrong Attitude

If we choose to go around with an attitude, such as: ‘Woe is me, this is the cross I have to bear,’ then we will not only depress ourselves but also those around us.  

We will ultimately paralyze ourselves and prolong the pain when we don’t take the proper care to lay aside even our attitude towards the work God performs in our lives.  To steer clear of concrete feet and a rebellious heart, we must embrace God’s work in our lives with the right attitude.  

Embracing the Pain With The Right Attitude

Welcoming pain with a smile on our face is hard.  God does not ask us to put on a happy face and pretend all is well.  No, instead He beckons us to have an attitude of Christ.  

Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,

who, existing in the form of God,

did not consider equality with God

as something to be used for His own advantage.

Instead He emptied Himself

by assuming the form of a slave,

taking on the likeness of men.

And when He had come as a man

in His external form,

He humbled Himself by becoming obedient

to the point of death—

even to death on a cross.

For this reason God highly exalted Him

and gave Him the name

that is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus

every knee will bow—

of those who are in heaven and on earth

and under the earth—

and every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

Embracing the work God is doing in our lives gives an opportunity for others to proclaim Christ as Lord and gives glory to God the Father!!   

After four months of rest, orthopedic doctor visits, MRI’s, x-ray’s, and physical therapy, we still are not sure exactly what happened to his knees.  But as of last week, he has been released to play without any limitations.  There is much more to the story of our son and God’s faithfulness through it all, and I’d love to share it with you sometime.  However, I have to ask you, 

How are you handling your growing pains?  

Are you ignoring the pain and still trying to handle your situation and your sanctification on your own?


Have you accepted that God is not going to leave you where you are and made the decision to allow Him to work in your life, but are doing it with an ungrateful attitude?


Have you truly embraced the transforming grace of God in your life with a heart of humility and joy?

Don’t wait any longer.  

Train yourself in godliness, for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:7b-8

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