Life Lesson #10: Pain then Joy

We stepped into the waiting  room of the doctor’s office and I took a seat holding my now one-year-old little girl. 

The room was cold, as every doctor’s office is. They must all have the same building inspector who requires each office to become the next ice age for their patients.

As my wife went to check us in at the reception desk, I sat holding my little girl trying to keep us both warm. Luckily, this appointment was not due to my little girl being sick. Instead it was her one-year-old checkup.

Since she wasn’t sick, and ever since she discovered how to walk, she wasn’t in much of a “hold me daddy” kind of mood. She wanted to get down and explore. So, we froze to death as she explored the area of the waiting room, being careful not to go too far from me.

As I watched and played with her, I couldn’t believe how fast one whole year had already come and gone. In just the few short days after her first birthday, she had already started to grasp so much! 

She started to associate “da-da” to me when she called out. She started to walk on her own. She started to comprehend the simple signs of American Sign Language I was teaching her. And so much more! 

God had truly blessed me and my wife with a very special little girl! 

The time came, and her name was called. It was time to see the doctor. She was weighed and measured. Her eyes, nose, and mouth were inspected, and her joints checked out.

Everything was great! Our little one-year-old was happy and healthy.

And then came the nurse…

I knew what was about to happen. I knew far before we even arrived at the doctor’s office what was about to happen. I just didn’t have the heart to tell my little girl.

You guessed it; she was going to get a shot. Not just one! Oh no! Not just two! But four shots!

Four shots to help her continue to grow and remain healthy.

In order to help her remain healthy and strong and enjoy the good things of life, she first had to go through a brief moment of pain.

I don’t like shots! Who does? I mean, I’m not anti-needle by any means. If I’m super sick and I know a shot will make me feel better quickly…. give me the shot over a pill! But still…. I don’t like shots.

As I laid my little girl down on the table and looked at her smiling up at me, it was clear that she had no idea what was about to happen. (Mind you this wasn’t her first set of shots). 

As the nurse poked my little girl with all four shots, my daughter’s face turned crimson red as she held her breath in pain. Letting out what she bravely held in was quickly released in a desperate scream for help. 

I cringed. My toes curled. And yes… my butt cheeks clinched. It felt like something inside me was dying. Even though I was holding her hand, even though I was right by her ear telling her that everything would be ok, even though I reminded her that I was right there with her through it all, it wasn’t enough. She wanted off that table in my arms -NOW.

The band-aids were applied to the boo-boos and I quickly swept her in my arms. 

As she sobbed from the pain and the feeling of betrayal, I patted her back and told her how brave she was and how much I love her. 30 seconds later her crocodile tears finally stopped and her beautiful smile broke through, once more melting our hearts. 

Then it hit me…

God does the same for us…

God, our Heavenly Father, also knows that in order to help us remain healthy and strong and enjoy the good things of life, we first have to go through a brief moment of pain. Just like my daughter had to get the shots in order to remain healthy.

Just like I allowed the painful feeling of the four shots to be injected into my daughter’s tiny body, our Heavenly Father allows us to experience pain in life knowing that everything will be ok in the end.

In the moment of our life’s pain we may be doing everything we can to hold ourselves together and pretend nothing is wrong just like my little girl did. And then one day, we finally burst out crying for God to give us peace.

All I can see is God standing right there by our side, holding our hand, telling us in our ear that everything is going to be ok. And as the dust settles and the storms of life clear, we can see that through it all, God was with us the entire time.

So today’s life lesson is one that I hope finds you at the perfect moment in your life where you just need to be reminded that whatever it is you’re facing in life right now, whatever pain you may be feeling, God is right by your side.

It sucks. I know.

But God allows things to happen to us because He knows the outcome. He knows it will make us stronger. He knows that if we just lean on Him, press into Him, call out to Him, our faith will be made stronger.

So I leave you with this today… words straight from the mouth of God straight to your heart…

“Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

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