Originally published Friday, 21 August 2015.
Mommy, I am going to play doctor. This came as no surprise to me as we had just returned from the doctor's office, but what came next totally hit me.
"Sit." Mikey said in a high pitched doctor voice, "Here little honey, here's a sticker for you, sweet thing. Choose out which one you like. I hope you like it. Now, I am going to stick you with this shot."
Mikey slams the shot straight down into my leg.
Ouch! He hit the nail on the head (or the shot on the target) with this one. This is exactly what that doctor did, and sometimes, how I feel my God treats me too.
He seems to woo me with words of "I am with you. I won't leave you. I will help you. You are my daughter, my precious, the one I want to give good things to," only to stick me a minute later with pain.
He speaks, "Kelly, my darling, I love you so much. I am here for you." only to slam me with a trial.
Sometimes it just hurts.
Do you really love me God? If so, why do you have to hurt me like that?
Surely, I know this verse: "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away." Job 1:21
I know it, but do I have to like it?
The second part often plagues me as too hard to do...
"May the name of the LORD be praised." Job 1:21
How do you praise when you can't lift your sore arms above your head?
When they are much more comfortable on your hips, where they can ponder his methods rather than his truth?
But, as our eyes stare off in the distance figuring out how we ended up where we are, we see the long road - the road to heaven - and the road of Calvary, that Jesus endured.
He never said it was going to be easy. But, he said - for it - one day, we would be exceedingly blessed.
When we focus our eyes on his truth over our shots of pain, we start to remember verses like:
These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (Jo. 16:33)
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; Romans 5:3
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you. 1 Peter 5:10
Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him. James 1:12
What we see is that the pain, but what God sees the abundant produce he is growing.
Sure, we feel agony in the moment,
but when our little bud pushes through the tough ground,
we finally see what God was always working on -
fruit - ample fruit.
Fruit that endures past this sliver of life called earth.
Fruit that makes it all worth it, that teaches us something far greater than the lessons learned on the easy road.
Do you see it starting to pop up?
Peace, a sight of eternity, patience, a knowledge God is working for us, a shift to perfection, establishment, strength and a settled heart.
As our fruit multiplies on earth, so it does in heaven as God sets his banqueting table that awaits us after we have run our race with perseverance.
Our trials are not for naught, they are for gain.
While it sometimes seems God delivers a shot of venom to knocks us off our feet, he is always in the process of shooting us with love, hope, a future and peace. That is his business and that is his game - always and forever.
Even more, his shots protect us from a world that wants to drag our heart away from spiritual health and reliance on God.
God has a plan. He always has and he always will.
Your pain and brokenness is just the beginning of God's beautiful restructuring.
With God, our trials inject new hope. They reset our focus to eternity. They are the antibody to complacency.
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