in maturity and card games;

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This evening marks the beginning of the bible study we are hosting at home.

Since I turned twenty-two, I’m ‘graduated’ from my local church’s youth group. Consequently, the home bible studies started and I decided it is the perfect time to transition. I’m glad my family is hosting one this time around, with my older brother leading it in  my parent’s home. I made up my mind to minister and help around the house during these days and  use this time to bond and appreciate my family more.

Since it was the first of a series of meetings, today was orientation day: a time to get to know people and just have time to talk and chat and enjoy homecooked dishes, pot-luck style. We also played UNO for an hour or two. Colorful card games seem childish, but it’s fun.

The people who signed up under my brother are mostly young wedded couples, who are his close friends whom he hung out with during his youth group years. I watched these men grow: starting as youths, their weddings and now together years after with jobs, ministries, families and some expecting children. It’s nice seeing them together, and it’s quite fun to see how they reminiscence their youthful days: laughing at their immaturity, marveling how time has passed and how much they have grown.

The line between maturity and childishness is more than just playing hours and hours of UNO or video games. It is more than just how we look: the clothes that we wear and the shape of our face. It is more than just how tall we are or how old we are.

When I was a child, 
I talked like a child, 
I thought like a child, 
I reasoned like a child. 
When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)

Maturity is something everyone has to face.

While I would like to believe I embraced the idea of growing up and maturing well, I’ve seen many who don’t. Many people find themselves stuck with the same mentality for years, some not being able to let go of things or sometimes they just don’t want to let go and just continue in comfort and stability. This will impede not only psychological but also spiritual maturity.

Growing comes with pains. Growing is awkward. Growing means missing teeth, awkward hormonal imbalances,  pimples, and insecurity. Growing means breaking and healing to make one stronger.

We want to be stronger yes, without breaking. We hate pain. We hate being uncomfortable or pushing the envelope.

But it just doesn’t work that way.

To be stronger people we have to go through some things. We need to make mistakes and mess up big time then learn from these mistakes. There are things that cannot be learned unless you personally go through them. That’s why God let us go through things–sometimes things that are so painful that it seems like we could never recover. But everything happens for a reason and no matter what happens God remains sovereign above all. It’s not during still waters but during the storms that we build up courage and faith. It’s during the dark times when we bow our knees, groan and cry to God. We go through this in order to help others who went through the same things as you; some without God’s help and are hurting.

Don’t be afraid of the dark times.

It’s just another opportunity to make God’s glory shine brighter in you, to take you from glory to glory.

It’s another opportunity for you to grow.

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