Growing in the Challenges

The summer after I graduated high school I worked for the school maintenance department. For two weeks that summer, we replaced every broken ceiling tile in all of the school buildings in the district. We had to go into every classroom and see if tiles were broken or damaged. For each one that was, we had to take it down, cut the new one to match it, and put it back up. I became pretty good at this by the end of two weeks, but also wondered if I would ever use this skill again.

Two years later in college, I went on a Spring Break mission trip and our group was asked to make repairs on a church. I am not a very handy person but one of the jobs was to repair ceiling tiles in a classroom. I knew which job to do!  Since then I have had opportunities to install ceiling tiles in the Summit and ROC at Immanuel.

It is so easy to dismiss an opportunity to learn and grow or to try a new thing. We grow comfortable in our skills and routines and are not ready to try new challenges. But we are asked to do the opposite, as these two proverbs suggest:

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. (Proverbs 19:20)

A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might. (Proverbs 24:5)

When we are faced with challenges, we should look in them for opportunities to grow. In those moments ask some questions, such as: How can I serve God? How can I be a positive Christian example to others? Are others facing the same challenges I’m facing? What do they need? Where are they turning to for help? When we ask those questions we find that since our faith is rooted in God, our circumstances are seen as temporary. And we often find that others are looking for someone who has a foundation - of any kind - and our challenge becomes an opportunity not only to grow, but also to minister, as you can tell others how you are not shaken by this challenge after all.

What challenge do you need to look at as a growth opportunity?  And who is looking to you as a source of stability?

By Jason Grace

Jason serves at Immanuel with his wife and two kids. He is a software engineering manager.

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