In case you’ve never noticed, growth hurts.
My kids have gone through a number of growth spurts in recent years. It seems that every time I turn around, one of them is springing up another half inch or more. When they’re in the middle of a growth spurt, several things will inevitably happen.
They’ll start eating everything in sight. Even things they normally complain incessantly about eating!
They’ll be more tired than usual, falling asleep at odd times.
They’ll complain of aches. Leg aches are the most common, although other aches do tend to pop up here and there.
Doug and I have learned to put two and two together. When one of the kids comes to us with complaints of aches and pains, we first stop to consider: is it yet another growth spurt?
Over the fall months as all three kids went through another set of growth spurts, there were days when the whining got on my very last nerve. They would complain about the aches. They would bicker with one another. Nothing seemed to satisfy them. They were just all-around irritable. Some days I banished each to his or her own room to be alone for a little while. There seemed to be nothing I could do with or for them to truly solve their issues. So, I figured alone time couldn’t hurt any of us.
But, as with many things I deal with when it comes to my kids, once I stopped to think about their whining I was convicted.
You see, I’ve been growing lately too. Not physically – I’ve had to make a lack of physical growth a primary consideration of mine since I stopped growing vertically well over twenty years ago. No, my growth is spiritual. But, it might as well be physical as much as I complain about my own aches and pains. I just don’t like it. It hurts. It aches. It’s hard. And, like the kids, once the growing is over it seems I’ve always outgrown something that I’m not really sure I want to let go of yet.
So I whine.
My Father is so patient with me. Sometimes He has to isolate me from my spiritual siblings so I don’t drive them insane. Sometimes He wraps me in His arms to tell me it’s going to be okay. No matter what, He always reminds me that growing is for my best.
I’d love for my sweet little ones to avoid the whining with every growth spurt. It would make life a little smoother for me. But, then again, maybe each child’s growth spurt whine could serve as a reminder to me. A reminder to be a little less whiny myself. A reminder to instead be joyful knowing that God is growing me, even though it hurts. A reminder to be filled with thankfulness that He teaches me.