Growth Cycles, Firsts and Cheers from Heaven.

When my kids were little we had a series of “firsts” that were met with sounds of cheering and applause.  The first time they rolled over… cheering and applause.  The first time they crawled… cheering and applause.  I remember their first steps while holding on to the edge of the table… cheering and applause.  Their first solo steps with no table, just open arms of mom and dad and cheering voices telling them they could. First words, first sentences, first “I love you too”, first ride on a bike, first time riding solo, first day of school…  cheering and applause.  Their childhood is captured in my heart by a series of memories about their firsts.

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In every first that we cheered, there was a pre-season of struggle, cheering, stumbling and frustration.  Watching my kid’s roll over was funny in some ways they would sit there and twist their little bodies, arch their backs and then flail their little legs all while teetering on a big puffy diaper taped to their body.  This activity happened several times a day and then one day; this activity yielded a new vantage point from which to experience and see life.  Pretty soon, rolling over held no difficulty and they were on to crawling.

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Crawling started with the wobbly movement to their hands and knees, falling, scooting, and going back to rolling because they had mastered it already and then trying again.  After much cheering and applause, they began to crawl and from the struggle that built strength, came a new way to experience the world in which they lived.  This process repeated itself in speaking, in walking, in riding bikes, tying shoes, potty training and much more.  A time of struggle that built strength, a time of frustration with being so close, a time of making it to the “next” skill level, a time of gaining more skill and strength and a whole new world to explore and see and all along the way, cheering parents.

This cycle of “firsts” is how people grow.  People grow when they struggle forward.  My kids did not fight to stay immobile but rather to be mobile. It was natural for them to grow, to push to see, know, touch, explore and live.  This is how God made kids and it is also how God made us big people too.

We were made to grow, to reach, to try to attain and in doing so, see life differently.  Here is a thought I hope gives you pause to reflect.  Whenever there is struggle there is a need to grow being revealed.  Read that again.  Whenever there is struggle, there is a need to grow being revealed.  When I struggle with my weight, there is a need to grow in my emotions and disciplines.  When I struggle with finances, there is a need to grow in my stewardship.  When I struggle in a relationship there is a need to grow being revealed.

If you are struggling today, it just might be that the God who made you is revealing a need to grow in some part of your life.  Can I encourage you to pray this prayer, God when I struggle will you show me where I need to grow?  From this prayer, keep struggling forward, grow and then enjoy life from the new vantage point.  The guarantee is this:  one struggle will lead to new freedom and eventually another struggle which will lead to a new freedom and then another struggle.  This is what it means to grow.

Do you have a habit that need breaking?  Struggle until you do.  Get the help you need but struggle until you do.  Do you have an attitude that need conquering?  Struggle until you do.  Struggle forward but struggle because when it is broken, you will see life from a totally different vantage point.  Got a dream  you have set on the back burners because of fear or discouragement?  Struggle forward!  Pick up the dream and run, struggle forward because until you do, you cannot grow.

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One final thought.  In our home the applause and cheers of mom and dad spurred our kids forward as they struggled to roll, crawl, walk, talk and in many more firsts.  Right now, your heavenly Father is cheering you forward.  He loves to see you struggle forward because he knows you are adding strength for living.  He knows that the strength you build in your struggle will be what you need to view life from a new vantage point and tackle the next struggle.  Hear him now…  Way to Go!  Keep on going, you got this!  I am here for you!  I love you!   Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on July 9, 2013.

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