Every time I take one of my kids in for their needed vaccinations I think of how quickly I revert to childlike behavior with God. Yesterday, as my son looked at me, pain in his eyes and sobs welling up in his little throat, I realized I mirror his reaction when dealing with hard things in life.
I whine and complain. Cry and carry on asking God “why?”. In my finite mind, it seems so without reason, unfair and unnecessary. In hindsight, the needle pricks of life really aren’t such a big deal. But in that moment of pain, it’s all consuming. When getting shots my kids don’t remember that every day I clothe and feed them – lavishing them with hugs, kisses and care. Just as I rapidly forget all the wonderful things God has done for me, focusing instead only on the apparent lack of concern He’s demonstrating just then. I’m sure my thoughts echo my children’s “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t be doing this.”
Within 10 seconds or so, my kids are fine – the injection forgotten, smiles re-lighting their eyes, but the lasting protection provided remains. Once I’ve come through one of life’s vaccinations, I always have a new set of defenses guarding me. Going forward I’m reminded of God’s faithfulness through the previous problems and it helps keep me focused on Him during the next trial.
It’s so easy to assume that God is going to protect us from all the suffering this life holds. That because we’ve chosen to follow His path, somehow we’ll be sheltered from the hard stuff. I look at my kid’s lives and how deeply I want to shield them from pain. However, occasionally I actually do things to them that I know will cause them to hurt. Similarly, God loves me exponentially more than I care for my children, and yet, He still allows distress in my life. I so wish I could know the “why” behind life’s ouchies. There burns a longing to understand what the ultimate plan is – how it’s all going to turn out and to see the good I know is being worked through the pain. But just as no explanation could ease my children’s confusion over Mommy allowing a nurse to hurt them, I don’t think there’s anything God could tell me that would really make it all ok. No set of assurances would make me comprehend the purpose of a 10 year old losing her mother, parents burying their kids, diseases that ravage the body or dealing with depression and betrayal. Ultimately I just have to go back to that God is good. All the time. Regardless of the circumstances. Just like I hold my babies as they cry and allow my presence to reassure them of my love. Sometimes, I just need to crawl up in God’s lap and be comforted simply in knowing He’s still there.