I took two of my kiddos to the doctor's office today for their yearly check-ups, the first they have had since we returned home from London. Their sister, who had her check-up about a month ago, had gotten 3 vaccinations at her appointment. Needless to say, that was the main question they had about going to the doctor themselves, "Will we have to get shots too?" I looked at both of their vaccination records and assured them that no, they should not be getting shots today at their appointment. But, guess what? I was wrong. Both needed one shot to get them up to date with healthiness! I felt really bad, as if I had purposely deceived them, when in reality, I hadn't. But they still looked at me as if I had while the nurse stuck their little legs!
I was thinking more about this today as I reflected on what I tell them everytime they get shots. When they ask, "But why do we have to get shots if they hurt so much and we're not sick?" I always tell them that the shots, even though they hurt for a few moments, can prevent them from getting very sick at some later date. Of course, being children, they are much more interested in the here and now. They don't want the shot. But, really, aren't grown-ups just kids with big bodies? Because sometimes I want to ask God the same things, mainly, "Why am I going through this?" And His answer is much like mine, "Because I have more information than you. I know what is best for you." I can also relate to my children's ideas: "But it hurts and all seems okay right now!"
Sometimes what I am going through at the time feels much bigger than the temporary pin-prick of a shot, but I am reminded of Paul's words, that our current experiences are "light and momentary troubles". And, maybe the Father, like me, knows that the "shot" will innoculate me in the end. I need these trials, these innoculations, against passivity and hard-heartedness. In the end, they increase my faith and remind me that growth in Christ is not painless. But pain is necessary for growth. Do you think God hands out stickers in heaven for those who endured their shots?