I teach elementary school, currently second grade. (Although it IS summer break right now! Woohoo!)
One thing I have always told my students, over and over again, is your brain can’t grow if it’s easy. Your brain only grows if it’s hard.
I explain If something is easy for you then it means you already know it. Therefore you don’t need to learn it, so your brain isn’t growing. It’s just staying the same.
If you want your brain to grow, and really most students will admit that they want to get smarter, then you have to challenge it with hard things. You have to do hard things so that your brain can learn and grow and get smarter. You can’t get smarter if you’re only doing things you already know how to do.
So when something gets hard – we celebrate! Ok, so I don’t throw a party or anything but I use my excited voice. When a student says, “this is hard,” my response is always an excited, “then we are growing and getting smarter right now! That’s awesome!”
God made a pretty big connection for me this past Sunday at church.
You see, I am praying and pleading for God to help me grow. For God to give me a supernatural faith, stronger than what I currently have. That God will use me as a vessel of Holy Spirit power to help others. My prayer is basically, “God use me!” which could also translate to, “God, help me GROW in you!”
And… are you making the connection with me?… it’s not really possible to grow when things are easy and you are doing the same thing you’ve always done.
God drops the mic here.
“Oh, my sweet daughter Christy. You want to grow? This makes me so happy. My heart is rejoicing that you want to grow in your faith, grow in your actions of faith, that you want to be used to help others. Nothing makes me happier that a child of mine wanting to grow closer to Me! (Hebrews 11:6)
But Christy, think about this. You cannot grow if you continue to do the same things you’ve always done. You will not grow when things are easy and there is no challenge. Now I’m not sending challenges your way. I’m not going to make your life more difficult, but the enemy will. He doesn’t want you to grow and he really doesn’t want you to affect others in this world for me. (1 Peter 5:8)
So things may get difficult. But that, my child, is when you have the greatest chance to grow. Just as you tell your students, they only get smarter when it’s hard, this is your chance to grow through difficulties.
I see you. I see your struggles right now but I promise I can use them for your good and My Glory. (Romans 8:28) We can use these struggles and this difficult time for you to get exactly what you’re praying for – stronger faith. A closer relationship to Me. The ability to reach others.
My servant James already wrote my thoughts on this: “when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up in you the power of endurance. 4 And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.” (James 1:2-4)
See, the struggles give you the opportunity to show your faith and grow in new ways. When you remain faithful through the hard times, you gain endurance. Endurance in faith, endurance in your walk with me. And endurance, as it grows stronger, will help you grow in all areas of your walk with me.
So, yes, I know it’s hard right now. But be happy, my daughter. You are growing. You are learning. You are gaining endurance. The things you are want and are praying for, they are coming. In fact, they are being developed right now.
In the midst of this, though, I’m not leaving you to walk blind. Ask me for wisdom! Ask me for wisdom in how to handle the difficult things and I will give it to you and you will grow even more! (James 1:5) Don’t think that you are walking through these difficulties alone. I’m right here! Loving you, cheering for you, excited that you are taking steps to grow your faith in me. (Matthew 28:20) So keep going and keep asking for wisdom and know that you are getting what you want.
A greater faith. Faith stronger that what you currently have. And I will use you. Oh, how I will use you and your faithfulness. So keep pressing on. And be excited that you are growing and getting stronger. Use that excited teacher voice to say, “Oh, this is hard? Good, I must be growing!”
I love you, daughter. I love you and I’m proud of you. Keep going.
Are you struggling, friend? Are you in the middle of the difficult things? God’s got you. He isn’t causing these things to come into your life but He does promise He can use it for your good and His glory. He can make something good come out of it.
Are you praying for faith? To be closer to God? To hear God more intimately? Look to Him in your dry season. Continue to praise and worship when you don’t feel like it. KNOW that God uses these times to grow our faith and produce endurance and to give us what we want. We ask, seek, and knock for open doors to Holy Spirit power – He WILL answer those prayers. He IS answering those prayers.
May I encourage you to write your own letter to yourself from God? Or copy mine and change my name to yours. Or use mine as a jumping off point. God is speaking to you today. If you are reading this, I believe that God is speaking to you and has something for you to hear. Take some time to listen. It may be something totally different than what I’ve shared! God is so good that way! He speaks to each of us individually! What is God saying to you today?
May you be blessed this Tuesday!