Friday, November 5, 2010

Growing Through Pain

The good thing about having kids that are a year apart is that you can time all of their doctor's checkups at the same time. This saves my wife an extra trip to the doctor's office and little bit of sanity. This morning was that day. We took my daughter Kate for her 18 month checkup and my son Drew for his 6 month checkup.

The greatest part of a doctor office visit is the fish tank. Obviously. I think that when they are planning to open a new practice the first thing that they debate is how big of a fish tank that they will have. I'm not 100% on this but I'm pretty sure if you don't have a fish tank in your doctor's office then they might not be licensed.

The worst part of a doctor's visit with two children under 2 is....well everything after the fish tank. The part that I particularly hate is the time when they get their shots. I can't even look for fear of passing out. The doctor comes in with her tray of needles. I know that you're cringing right now. I can sense it.

The hardest part is that you have to sit there and restrain your child while they are receiving pain. I fight every bit of me to not push the doctor away and pick up my crying little girl and cradle her. I want so desperately to do it but in the end I don't. Why not?

Because I know that this pain is a good thing. 

I know that there are diseases in this world and that they could easily take the life of me and my kids. I wish it wasn't that way. I didn't make it that way.  But the truth is that there are sicknesses. I know that by giving my kids these shots I'll reduce their chances of contracting those diseases. In a sense, because of the pain, they are able to grow. 

One of the questions that I get a lot is, "If God is good, why do bad things happen?"  I often answer that bad things happen for a number of reasons and then I go back and retrace where pain entered into the world.

God didn't create the world with diseases, pain, or even death. Adam and Eve could have lived forever if they had steered clear of the one thing that God told them to steer clear of! But it happened. They ate from the tree and introduced sin into the world. After that, you have sin, pain, even death. 

Ok that's where pain came from, but can it really be a good thing?

Paul writes this in Romans 5;

3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,..."

Rejoice? In suffering? In Pain? 

When I think back to the things that have caused my pain in my life I think that they have helped me grow. Like the verse says, my pain has increased my endurance. I'm able to endure more in this life then I could have a long time ago. Hopefully my endurance has helped me build my character. and my character has built.


One word that means so much. You see when I experience pain it's a reminder to me that this is not how it's supposed to be. God didn't make it this way. God wanted more for mankind. God has promised us more. He has promised that one day Christ will come back and we will live forever in a pain free heaven. 

Pain reminds me of the promise of Heaven and eternity with God. 

Pain reminds me to have Hope for something better.

Pain reminds me to have hope. 

I pray that the pain in your life will remind you of God's promises. 

I pray that the pain in your life will help you grow. 

I pray that the pain in your life will give you hope.


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