“MOOOMMMMM!!! What is this stuff on my nose????” Says my 12 year old son. He’s grown tall and lanky in the last few months and his voice is starting to squeak.
“Well Buddy, those are pimples.”
“WHAT? Pimples. No way. These can’t be pimples.”
“Well, I’m afraid they are. It’s time for them.”
He went into the type of fit that those of us in the South would call a “tizzy”. I’m just shaking my head and he’s looking at me like I should do something about this travesty, but hey, what is there to do really? I tell him to wash his face and wait.
“How long am I going to have to put up with this, Mom?”
“It’s hard to say. Probably longer than you want Love, sorry.”
No. I’m really not one of those moms that tries to paint a rosy picture for my kids. My feet are firmly planted in reality. I’m of the “time to suck it up” variety. I would make a terrible nurse. I would be fired the first day…..right after I told someone to stop their whining. My husband agrees and would readily testify to this. (Poor guy).
But here’s the truth of it. Pimples for my boy means he’s becoming a man. That is the goal right? Boy to man? In order to become a man he has to go through the passage of manhood, and that’s not easy. Almost all growth we experience is difficult.
When our bodies change and grow we experience growing pains. When our hearts and spirits grow it’s not without discomfort, even hurting. Friends, life is painful. Period. Don’t waste the pain. If you’re going through a hard time then know it is the passage of growth. As we grow our purpose is made clearer, our compassion swells, our insight and patience increase. Pain is the passage. Embrace the passage. It’s lined with grace. And wisdom and joy is the light you see at the end of that long tunnel.
James reminds us of the joy of the trial in Chapter 1:2-4: “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.”
I’ve labored with 5 babies. It’s not called labor for nothing! All total I would say 50 hours of labor. Rough? You know it. But the end result was 5 beautiful babies that are growing into 5 beautiful lives. The hardships of our lives are the same way. The trial is the labor that gives birth to the beautiful. The labor will end friends. And then you will see the beautiful life that is being made as a result. In the mean while hold onto the promise that: “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) and rest in the fact that “One may experience sorrow during the night,
but joy arrives in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5).
How long will you have to put up with it? It’s hard to say. Probably longer than you want. But how beautiful you will be when it’s over.