Junior high is awkward. Growth spurts are revealed by embarrassing trips into lockers and embarrassing tumbles in the middle of crowded hallways. Growing pains hurt!

David wrote Psalm 86 as an outcrying prayer to God, and in the midst of it we find verse 11. It is a vow to praise God and a prayer for godliness (NIV). David pleaded for God to teach him how to rely on His faithfulness, and for an undivided heart to fear God’s name. Fear in this instance, and often in the Bible, means a deep reverence and respect for who God is. Salvation launches the beginning of an awkward stage of development, comparable to the physical adjustments we have to make to our bodies in junior high.

Our souls are wired to seek God, but our flesh battles for control. The world begs us to consider and adopt its policies, and a spiritual war wages beyond what we consciously see. Thankfully, the power of God trumps adolescent hormones and awkward growth spurts. As we grow in our faith, there will be seasons when we’re comfortable in our own skin, only to be met with another grow spurt. On and on, in a process called sanctification, from the day we accept Christ as our Savior until the day we arrive home in heaven for eternity, we are growing and maturing.

Not all of the lessons are easy to learn, nor are many of the growth spurts of our souls amiable to adjust to. We will trip and fall through life as we follow Christ because we are human. He knew it when He died on the cross for us, and patiently remains with us as we shake one earthly tendency after another off of our backs as we run the race He’s assigned us in this life.