November 29, 2011

Growing Pains

Colin is going through another growth spurt. All the signs are there: constant eating, irritability, extra tired, and the worst - growing pains.  Last night, he was up until 10:30 - unable to sleep because his legs hurt "way down deep on the inside."

As a mom, I feel so helpless - there is really nothing you can do for growing pains except to try and make your child as comfortable as possible.  We rubbed Tiger Balm on his legs, cuddled on the couch and prayed...and waited for the pain to pass.  Two hours past his bedtime, he finally felt a little better and let us tuck him back in to his bed.

I do not take any sort of pleasure in knowing my children are in pain. But, I confess, I do get excited when I think about the fact that my boys are growing.  Growth is a sign that they are healthy; It is a sign that they are changing, maturing, and becoming who God created them to be.  So while I do not want them in pain, I am excited for the change that awaits them on the other side of this temporary discomfort.

Pain is not pleasant: but it can be rewarding.  An athlete knows that if he pushes through the burn, he will be stronger and healthier and he will be one step closer to meeting that goal that he has been working towards.  A woman knows that she must breathe, and then push, through the pain of contractions to finally hold and caress that precious life that she has been carrying deep within her belly for 9 long months. An accident victim knows that they must take a deep breath and force themselves to get through that next session of physical therapy so that they may reclaim the life that a drunk driver almost took away.

So much pain.  But so much reward.

I need to be reminded (often) of the adage "no pain, no gain."  I think, like many people, I want things the easy way. I want to learn to play the piano without having to practice.  I want to write a book without having to write a thousand worthless essays or blogs posts first.  I want to memorize scripture without having to study it. I want to be strong and healthy without having to put down my Pepsi and pick up a weight.

But there cannot be growth or true success or honest pride - without hard work, sacrifice, and, yes, sometimes even pain.  We cannot expect that we can sit on the couch watching reruns of "Home Improvement" and our life will just magically transform on its own in between commercial breaks.

We need to get up and run (or walk first); we need to remember what it means to sweat, to study, to think...

We need to feel the burn, push through those contractions, take a deep breath and remember that the pain is only temporary.

And what is on the other side is priceless.

Be encouraged.  Be brave. Find your voice.  And get up...and run!

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)

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