But she is two months old which means that today she is going in to get her vaccinations. I remember her crying when they gave her a shot on her first day of life. I know that today will be no different. She will be hurt. She will not understand. She will cry, and Rebecca will rock her and hold her and assure her that we love her. But we will do this, we will purposely allow the doctor and nurses to inflict pain on our precious little girl, because we believe that it is what is best for her overall health and well-being. At the heart of this, we will do it because we love Annabelle, and yet she won't be able to see it that way for quite a long time.
I'm reminded that in many ways I am like my little girl in relationship to my Heavenly Father. Like me with Annabelle, He has the overall larger picture in view. In fact He knows everything, while I in the larger scheme of things know very very little. He knows what is best for me, while most often I am like Annabelle, able to only perceive my own pain or pleasure. He, like me, is willing to see His child go through painful experiences because He knows that it will result in great good in my life.
Scripture is filled with this imagery. One of the clearest explanations is Romans 5:2b-5.
Paul tells us that suffering can be much like our vaccination of Annabelle; it can result in our greater good if we allow it to draw us closer to God rather than to push us away from Him. My prayer for myself is that I will see the hard and painful things of life in this way. May they draw me closer to my Heavenly Father who loves me even more than I love and adore my baby girl. May I refuse to turn bitter towards Him, and stop trusting His goodness and love no matter what my circumstances may be.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV)