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How many times have we heard a child's bad or unusual behavior described as, "Oh, he's just going through a phase." I remember that when my sister Carmen was a toddler, she would eat dirt. Yes, dirt!
We would find her in the back yard sitting on the ground with her hands covered in dirt and a ring of black dirt around her mouth. We'd ask her if she was eating dirt and she would shake her little head back and forth and say, "Nooooo!"
Although it was comical, our Mom was worried; so off to the doctor they went. He assured Mom that Carmen was fine and prescribed coffee grounds. His advice was to give her dry coffee grounds to play in because "She is just going through a phase." He was right. The dry coffee grounds broke her of eating dirt. Phase over.
My brother Chris went through a childhood phase when he was determined to drop eggs from his second-floor bedroom window to watch them splatter on the driveway below. Mom didn't take him to the doctor. He was taken to the world of hurt. Ha.
The truth of the matter is that we all go through phases in our life growing up as kids and teens. As we grow older, phases turn into eras. Mostly we look back and laugh, but some phases in our life can make us cry. Illness, bad relationships, and failures can leave us filled with regret, which is the nature of life.
But when we follow Christ, we have the assurance of hope, forgiveness, and another new beginning. Phases lived in error are forgotten by the Lord when we ask for forgiveness. The Bible says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17 KJV).
As the Lord forgives and forgets, so should we in order to move on with our lives. Often it is our own self, and the fact that we were ever in that phase, that is the hardest to forgive and forget.
The good thing is that all phases eventually come to an end. You may have come through an extended illness, a disastrous relationship, or your boss may have told you that your season of employment in the job you love is over.
If so, remember the encouraging words of the Apostle Paul, "I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength" (NLT).
Yes, there are ups and downs as we go through those pesky phases but we have the blessed assurance that this too shall pass. Except for my brother Chris, who liked to drop eggs out of the window… He became a professional chef and cracks eggs to this day.
Copyright © 2013 Gene Markland. Used by permission.
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