One Day at a Time Devotional
Growing up I often experienced leg and knee pain. I would wake up in the middle of the night with terrible leg aches that I thought would never end. As a child running around and playing in the yard, my knees would ache for no obvious reason. Of course, I would go to my mom and tell her of my troubles and she would simply say, “You’re okay, it’s just growing pains.” Well, when you’re a kid, this is excited news! This means I am growing taller and becoming an adult just like my parents. What kid doesn’t want to grow tall and become an adult so they can make their own decisions?
Have you ever wondered, “What in the world is going on here?” Perhaps you were blind-sided by an unfortunate circumstance or maybe you’ve had an ongoing difficulty that seems as if it would never end. Are you one of the many who have had moments of despair and loneliness? I can honestly say that I have been there. Often I have cried out to God for His help and understanding during troublesome times.
In Psalms 138:3 it states,“In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.” What is great about God is that He answers our prayers and strengthens us when we seek Him. Just as a loving parent is there to answer the requests of their children, care for their scrapes or answer their questions, God is listening and He sympathizes with your pain.
God is a personal God. He is not sitting in Heaven as an observer, but He is very involved and interested in our lives. When you are in the midst of challenging and demanding circumstances, He is there to stretch down His hand and assist you. Perhaps it’s not daily tasks that are bothersome, but a painful relationship that has entered your life. Did you know that God cares? “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.” Psalms 138:7.
Often it is hard to understand why God allows difficulty to come into our lives and when we are in the midst of these trials it is hard to look past the circumstance to the bigger picture. When I was young my grandmother loved to put large puzzles together. Many of them consisted of farms and scenes of nature. She would laboriously take her time and consider where each item would go. When she was done piecing the puzzle together, she would place glue on the front and back of it to protect and preserve it. After this was complete, she would find a place to display it on her wall.
Just as one piece of a puzzle from a five hundred piece set is not clear nor gives you the complete picture until each piece is put in its’ proper place, neither are our lives complete without the workmanship of God’s hands and his meticulous involvement in every detail. The word perfect in our verse today represents completion. The adverse circumstances in your life epitomizes completion. As God places each piece of your life in its’ proper place, He may need to brush off some irregularities and remove some rough edges. When every detail is complete and unified, you are a perfect piicture.
During those moments before completion, you may feel like giving up on God or removing yourself from the pain, but let me encourage you to keep going for God, don’t give up. As a child when those growing pains were present in my life, it did not feel good. I thought the pain would never end, but it did and now I can help explain to my children what that physical pain represents. In addition, the pain of difficult circumstances and relationships will not last forever either. God is growing and perfecting you so that you may help others in the future just as John 17 explains, “23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
Ultimately, as we experience growing pains we are becoming one with Christ, without Him there is no perfection or completion. You are a living testimony of God’s goodness and love to the lost around you. Stay faithful and you will come forth as gold!
& One Day at a Time Devotional,
a ministry of Riverview Baptist Church