Part One-Opening Thoughts
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” – Psalm 91:4
Occasionally a client tells me about such painful circumstances that I am overwhelmed. I find myself struggling to be helpful. Suffering seems to be an inescapable part of our lives, but it rarely makes sense. I wonder how are we supposed to cope with inconceivable pain and injustice? What are we to do when we face misfortune?
But most importantly, I think where was God, and what should we expect from him during such times?
Several years ago a painful experience with my son provided me some new insight into these challenging questions. My middle son who was a toddler at the time developed asthma symptoms. Several years earlier our babysitter had died from this condition. I made an appointment with a specialist who examined my son as she listened to my description of his symptoms. She explained he needed to undergo allergy testing which consisted of two procedures. The first procedure required him to lie still while dozens of tiny pins pressed into his back for a quick second. He laid perfectly still, cooperating with this first step. I let out a sigh of relief.
The next step required the nurse to inject approximately seventeen intradural (just beneath the skin) injections up and down his upper arm. The nurse left the room and returned with a tray full of tiny hypodermic needles. My son saw them, became frightened, and began to move toward the door. The nurse looked at me and asked for help. I brought him back and pinned his tiny body between my legs as I held on tight to his flailing arms. He began to scream. His wail became louder with each progressive shot.
My hands and legs began to tremble as I listened to his cries. I felt horrible. I felt like an evil mother, but I knew this had to be done so that he could be properly diagnosed and treated. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I held on.
At one point during the procedure, he looked up at me. His face was bright red and splotchy, and wet from crying. His eyes stared at me with such desperate intensity. His glance was accusing. I could see his unspoken question. “Why are you doing this to me? I trusted you!” I knew he believed I had betrayed him. My heart broke.
How do you explain to a three-year-old the reason for this painful procedure? Nothing I said would make any sense to him. All he was capable of understanding was that I the one who was hurting him, yet I was really trying to save him
How many times has God had this same experience with us?
Please join me next week as we begin to look at this new topic of exploring God’s character. It is my belief that understanding the unchanging, loving nature of God will strengthen our faith, especially when life doesn’t make sense.