I took my 4-year old grandson to the Splash Pad the other day. Located at one of our local parks, the Splash Pad is an area with loads of colorful things to play around—all of which squirt water out at various speeds and degrees. The other day there were probably thirty children under the age of ten out there and Xander had such a great time that the smile rarely left my face.
I noticed one little boy out there running merrily from one plaything to another to another. His mom, seated (like me) at one of the shaded picnic tables around the facility, called to him several times warning him not to run on the slippery pavement. He was having such fun, he really didn’t pay her any attention.
Suddenly, as he ran to another one of the watery attractions, he slipped and fell backwards, hitting his head on the concrete. My nurse antennae sprang to attention, but the little boy (probably three or four years old) got up, crying that way that moms recognize. This was not fake crying. This kid was hurting.
Holding the back of his head with one hand, he ran to his mom immediately. She examined his head and then held him close, soothing him with her calm voice, cradling him in her embrace. In no time, he was out there laughing and playing again—but walking instead of running.
I’ve thought about that experience several times since, and realized that it reminds me of us—a great illustration of our relationship with the Lord. Patiently, He warns us, instructs us, watches over us and so many times we’re oblivious to His words. We get so involved with our own lives and activities that we lose sight of Him in many ways.
Then comes the inevitable slip and fall (usually from not heeding His warnings) and we immediately know where to find Him. Only then do we run into His waiting arms and allow His comfort to wash over us. When we experience His love, care and tender mercies in our own times of trial we vow never to lose sight of Him again.
But we do. And still, He’s there—never leaving us, watching over us, guiding us. Just as that little boy found comfort in his mother’s arms, we learn to find comfort in our Savior, as well. Each time we find the courage to step out again to try to live our lives in a pleasing way to the Lord, we find that our suffering has brought us comfort, joy and love from Christ. And then, the bonus—we enter our life’s activities again a little stronger, a little wiser, and more in step with Him.
Dear ones, please remember this in your own times of trial. They will happen. But when they happen, remember that our pain is not meaningless. It has purpose. And the ultimate purpose is to mold us into who He wants us to be. Our suffering may have many long-term benefits, but there will always be two we should meditate upon—our pain will ultimately result in good for us, and glory to Him. Keep your eyes on Him and listen to His voice. To Him be all praise and honor and glory.
“’In the world you will have tribulation.
But take heart; I have overcome the world,’” (John 16:33).