Shots and Smiles
By Aubrey Spencer –
I recently had to take our one-year-old daughter to get her blood drawn for a routine test. As I was sitting there with her on my lap, waiting for the tear-inducing ordeal to begin, I couldn’t help but to think back to our first experience with shots, after our son Oliver was born. He wasn’t very old when we experienced that inevitable, unavoidable, have-to-do-it-for-their-own-good, parental moment – the first set of shots.
I remember the day clearly. Oliver was asleep when we got to the clinic. Peaceful. Content. Unaware. Unprepared for what was about to happen. Jarrod sat him on his lap. Pinned his arms against his little chest. And, before we knew it, whammo! One awful shot down. One awfully sad baby. I think it had to be easier for Jarrod than for me. He might have had to hold him, but I’m the one who saw his face. Heartbroken. Scared. Shocked. Hurt. I wanted to pick him up and tell him that nothing else bad was going to happen. But, of course I knew better. He still had two leg jabbing, tear inducing, “what in the world did you just do to me?” shots left. Thankfully, in no time at all and three band-aids later, the whole ordeal was over. He ended up handling the situation pretty well. (His parents made it through okay too.) Tears only came when the shots did. And, he calmed down right away once we comforted him. Smiles even returned later that day.
I wonder if God has moments like that with us. Days when He has to let us go through something unpleasant, even painful, for our own good? Times when He allows the stabbing pain of loneliness, selfishness, bad decisions, or pride to prick our hearts? It must be awful for Him. He sees our broken lives, our hurt feelings, our scared souls. I’m sure He’d like to tell us that nothing else will ever hurt again like that. But, of course, He knows better. He knows us. We will mess up again. Life will be tough again. Tears will come again. He can’t keep us from experiencing all the shots we take in life. We oftentimes have to endure the pain in order to grow. He will, however, hold us, comfort us, and carry us through until the band-aids fall off and the smiles return!
PRAYER: Lord, I can only imagine how difficult it must be for You to watch Your children struggle, time and time again. But I praise You for always comforting us through the hard times and loving us through it all. Even though the process is most often unpleasant, I thank You, Lord for allowing growth to come from the pains we face in life, and for giving us reason to smile.
BIBLE VERSE: “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:5 NIV).