Thursday, March 11, 2010

Toddlers and Pain

Yesterday afternoon while I was talking on the phone with my mom and straightening up our living room, I heard a big crash come from Elyse's bedroom. Ben had been playing in there and I was certain that he had slammed the door on his fingers. I became even more sure when he let out a blood-curdling scream that led me to hang up on Mom as he ran into the room holding his hands together. There was blood all over them and he was sobbing. Then as I examined his hands, he reached up and yelled "my head!!" as I finally saw the source of the blood, the top of his head. He quickly calmed down and began to tell me that he had been climbing on the cedar chest and fell and hit his head on one of the corners. There was blood everywhere: his hair was matted to his head, his hands, his clothes, even his feet were bloody. I quickly grabbed a rag to apply pressure and began to clean up the mess. Once the bleeding had stopped, I put him in the bathtub to rinse him off so I could see the wound. It's amazing how much blood a tiny head wound can produce. The cut was less than a centimeter, but it needed to be closed.

So off we headed to the local convenient care, who said they were willing to try. If you know Ben, you know he is a stoic little daredevil. He falls all the time and rarely will he cry for more than a few moments. When he was 18 months old, he fell and broke his finger in two places and I didn't know until the next day when it was swollen and bruised. Even the doctor couldn't get him to show a response to pain. Well, Ben was great while they examined him and got the wound cleaned and even with the first injection to help numb the area. He sat and licked on his sucker and just chatted. After that, however, he came unglued. It took me, the nurse, and the doctor to hold him still enough to finish numbing the area and get three tiny staples in. He was flailing, kicking, and screaming like we were trying to kill him. And then we were done.

We let him sit up and he immediately said, "Ooooh! My sucker!" and that was it. No more tears, no more screaming, just the happy boy that he always is.

Oh to be a toddler again, when life may be painful in the moment, but once it's over, it's forgotten. To be able to bounce back after the tough stuff and move on without a care in the world. How often do we dwell in the painful parts of life rather than enjoy the good things that are right there in front of us?

John 10:10 - The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

When we were at camp one summer, this was our theme verse. The Christian life is filled with ups and downs, pleasure and pain. Our pastor told us that life is like the word translated "abundantly" or "to the full" means with more amplitude. While the non-Christian's life may be like the kid-coaster at the theme park, ours is more like the mega thrill-ride. The lows are lower and the highs are higher, but the end result is a much more satisfying experience. Our job is to not dwell in the negatives, but instead to focus on the One who guides us through the pains of life.

While we were at the doctor, Ben kept his eyes on me the whole time looking for reassurance, even as I held him down. Once it was all over, he immediately wrapped his arms around my neck and held on. When we're in the painful circumstances of life, do we keep our eyes on Jesus for guidance even when it seems like He's the one causing the pain?

As we were leaving, Ben was talking to the doctor and nurse like nothing had ever happened. He had no hard feelings toward anyone... it was all forgotten. Once the pain has passed, do we cling to Jesus and focus on the future? Or do we dwell in the pain we just experienced and live in heartache?

If we'll ride with Jesus through the hard times, He promises us higher highs than we ever imagined. Next time you're in one of the low times in life, just remember how high the next high is going to be. It it weren't for the difficult times, we wouldn't be able to appreciate the blessings we have been given.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great lesson to all of us Alanna. Thanks for sharing!