Growth is unpleasant, it’s not fun, it’s painful. I remember when I was younger I would often times wake up in pain, but it was just “growing pains”. The same thing that happens to us physically, happens to us spiritually. God will allow us to be in situations that sometimes aren’t fun, but it’s those times where we’re uncomfortable and vulnerable, that we grow the most.
One of my favorite Bible stories is Joseph (Genesis 37-50). Most people know the story: Joseph was his father’s favorite, God gave him a dream, and his brothers hated him. They despised him so much that they wanted to kill him, but ended up selling him into slavery (talk about sibling rivalry!). He was sold to the captain of the Egyptian guard, Potiphar. Mrs. Potiphar wanted to sleep with Joseph, and when he refused, she got him thrown in jail. He found favor with the jailer, and ended up interpreting dreams that the King’s cup bearer and baker had. When Pharaoh dreamed a horrible dream, Joseph was called upon to interpret and Pharaoh promoted him. This was all part of God’s plan to provide for his people: Israel.
This was not a fun, happy story for Joseph, it involved a great deal of turmoil and pain. He was put in an unpleasant place before he was promoted, he had to be uncomfortable and grow before he could be exalted. The great thing is that during that time his character grew as did his faith in God. It was all of the suffering that he endured that allows him to say to his brothers in Genesis 50: 20
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…”
I recently heard someone say that sometimes God cares more about your growth than your feelings. You might be in a painful, uncomfortable situation, but take comfort in the fact that God is still present, and this situation has a purpose.
So, my question for you is are you more concerned about your growth, or your feelings?