growthYesterday it was 95 in my office at church. NINETY FIVE!  I got up to go home and I literally stuck to my office chair and peeled my t-shirt off of my back. My mom volunteers in the ministry to do the admin and is working in the same office.  I left the office to talk to someone in another office (which by the way is air conditioned….just sayin!) and I came back to an empty desk chair in front of her desk.  I literally checked the floor on the side of her desk to see if she fainted. (She didn’t by the way.)  It’s hot in here people!

So do I have a point, or am I just complaining? Well…yes and yes (sort of).  I think sometimes we let ourselves get way too comfortable.  And I’m not talking air conditioned office comfortable, I’m talking spiritually comfortable.  We like our little niche where we serve and attend.  It’s a comfortable 72 degrees.

Over the last week we have had increasingly hotter temperatures around here. Because of that, I have been paying special attention to the garden is growing in my yard.  Yesterday I noticed that the squash plants that have been producing tiny leaves and blossoms, suddenly show lush leaves and fruit that literally wasn’t there a couple of days ago. The heat has caused growth that has been explosive.

I think we have to heat things up in our spiritual walk as well. When we face adversity, when we put ourselves in situations where we are uncomfortable, whether through serving, addressing painful situations or simply praying out loud, God initiates explosive growth in our lives as well.  Difficult situations can cause us to lean on Jesus more and focus on ourselves less.  And that’s a great recipe for spiritual development.

As parents and guardians, it’s really important that your kids see you embracing those difficult moments. Show your kids that those challenges bring forth growth, and encourage that growth in your kids. Instead of jumping in to save them, come alongside them as they them wrestle with situations involving friends and questions about themselves and Jesus.  Be a sounding board instead of an answer key.

Being uncomfortable isn’t fun. Sometimes the heat is unbearable.  But I know that we have a gracious God who has walked through anything that I am experiencing, and that I can go to Him when I feel like I can’t stand any more.  I hope that I have showed that to my kids as well, so that they might follow my lead.  And if they do, they might unfurl a leaf or two of their own.

Who turned up the heat?