Growing Pains

Isn’t it funny how smells can trigger memories?

Like when I smell incense in church, I’m immediately back in grade school. Or when I smell leaves burning I’m back in my old Chicago neighborhood trick-or-treating.

The other day I had a really strange triggered memory. I was at a restaurant and I got a whiff of root beer, and before you knew it I was 7 years old laying in my bed calling to my mom. “Mom, I have growing pains.” (It was really a charley horse in my calf but we called them growing pains.)

She would come in my room with this brown bottle she bought from the Watkins man and it smelled like root beer. She would massage my calves with the root-beer-smelling potion and the growing pains would disappear. I felt so loved after my mom left the room.


Growing in our faith can be painful at times.

The closer our walk with God, the farther we can feel from family and friends. The closer our walk with God, the more aware we become of our sinfulness. The closer our walk with God, the more we are asked to sacrifice.

Those are real growing pains.

Call out to God, he’s ready to soothe your pains with the balm of his presence. It doesn’t come in a brown bottle and you can’t buy it. It’s free. And oh, it sure does make you feel loved.

Scripture Verses:

Psalm 138:1-3
I thank you Lord, with all my heart; before the gods to you I sing. I bow low toward your holy temple; I praise your name for your fidelity and love. For you have exalted over all your name and your promise. When I cried out, you answered; you strengthened my spirit.

Luke 6:20-23
And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.

Philippians 4:6-7
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you experienced any growing pains in your faith life?
  2. How does the thought of pain or suffering influence your desire to grow in your faith?
  3. Have you ever called out to God when in pain? What was the result?
  4. Do you believe God hears and answers when we call out to Him?
  5. Do you believe that some personal concerns are too trivial to call out to God for help?


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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