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When things hurt

posted Nov 21, 2013, 7:05 AM by Christine Merrill
Last night, one of my closest friends texted me that her 9-yr old daughter was having something medically scary going on, and that she had to go back to the hospital the next day for a whole bunch of bone tests, etc.  Scary, scary stuff.  The part that breaks your heart is all that poking and miserableness on a little kid.  It's so tough to imagine myself as a parent just having to stand by let them do all those things to my child, even though I know it's for their own good.

It was just about a year ago that I had my own experience watching my child go through a medical hardship.  My baby, Sam, was born 6 weeks early, at a whoppin' 4lb 12oz.  I've always felt that a baby who has just been squished out of his warm, comfy home into a cold, bright world, deserves some love and comfort, but that was a luxury this baby didn't get.  He was whisked off to get an IV, several monitors, and a lot of poking and checking.  (They did let me hold him for a few minutes.)  How gladly I would have taken everyone one of those needles for him - and this from a confirmed needle-phobe!  But some things in life can't be done by proxy, and fixing your body is one of them.

Last night, as I thought about how sad it is to have to watch your child go through harrowing experiences like this, I felt a real connection to my Heavenly Father, who sent all of us here to earth, knowing very well that sooner rather than later, all of us were going to have heartbreaking experiences.  Not just heartbreaking for us, but for Him to have to watch us go through.  Just like we let the doctors poke our kids when they're sick, he knows that all these experiences will be for our good.  Not just, "You'll be stronger because you went through this" type of good, but, "You could die (at least spiritually) if you don't go through this and fix the problem."  

I know this is true because that's basically what the Lord was telling Joseph Smith when he was stuck - unjustly - in a cold, disgusting jail for several months.  

"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."  (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7

When we are having spiritual medical emergencies, I know the Lord is there, holding our hand and giving us hugs, just like we are when our children have to get poked and fixed.  Sometimes, he's holding our hand WHILE we're holding our child's hand.  And, unlike a doctor, who can't fix everything, we know that because of Jesus Christ's atonement, everything will be fixed and right when we get to the other side of our fixing process.
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