Growing Pains Hurt! That is why they are called growing pains. Pain comes when we grow in our body's. You may not remember the feelings, the pain, the awkwardness that came from shooting up in what seemed to be overnight when you were a teen. I work with teens and they go away for a week of so on summer vacation and come back to youth group with deeper voices, facial hair, and are much taller than they were before; and that's just the girls! Aha, just joking; seriously I was joking.
During the summer months of my Sophomore and Junior year in High School I was racked with pain. My legs hurt so badly at night that I went passed man tears, you know, "something is in my eyes" to full out weeping due to the pain. I would rub them with liniment, alcohol, hot water, whatever I could find and they still hurt. I was ready to go to the doctor when I was told by my grand-mother that I was going through "growing pains". Really? That isn't just something that we have created but it is real?
Yep growing pains. Then the term made me think about what about other things that go through growing pains. Businesses go through growing pains when they are doing so well that they have to expand and during the expansion they post a sign, "Please excuse our growing pains." They lose business through the time they are expanding because it is messy, inconvenient, and it slows down their forward movement. Later on everything picks back up as their customers come back in droves and bring others with them.
What about churches? Churches have growing pains as well but sometimes the suffering or the pain takes longer to correct than it should. Sunday School or small groups are growing so quickly that the numbers are increasing and then there is a falling away because of being over crowded. How about needing more workers or teachers and not having enough? Has any church anywhere EVER had too many workers or the full amount that they need? You see the thinking in some churches and growing pains is that waiting them out or hoping they will get better is NOT an option. WHY? We aren't talking about pains, patients, or customers but souls. We are talking about those that need their eternity secured with the Father. Churches don't have the luxury to talk about it, talk about, think about it, and finally decide to start deciding about what to do. PRAY IN POWER, listen to God, and trust him. By the way, sometimes God doesn't make sense to us, so be ready! Buckle up! Time to try the new, the outlandish, the "big audacious dreams that a big audacious God can handle!"
Right now it hurts, sure. However, don't try to wait it out. There are too many too far away from God and we need to connect them to the one and only now. We have to because the pain for a moment is monetary compared to eternity. It won't hurt that bad to move forward. Sitting still and doing nothing is not an option for us because "Growing Pains Hurt!"