“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that thy help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has give us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Rom 5: 3-5, NLT).
If you are a parent, who hurts when your child hurts…this message is for you. Of course, we hurt. No one wants his or her child to suffer. Our heart aches when their heart aches. We say, “I would take it from you if I could” and we mean it. We mean it sincerely. Would it not be nice to take all the painful experiences away… only letting them experience joyful moments and happy times?
I want you to imagine for a moment being able to remove a painful experience from your child’s life. Just one. Is there something you would like to have sheltered him from but were unable? (I can certainly think of a few of my own)! Perhaps a divorce. A death in the family. Maybe its a present painful experience he is going through. A bully at school. An injury on the baseball field. Picture taking a big ‘ol marker and blotting it out…It’s gone.
As parents, we are limited in our efforts to shelter our kids from all negative experiences in life. In our best efforts, we try to insulate them from the world. We try with all of our might to keep them “under our wing” for as long as they will stay. We keep them there in our little nest. A nest we built for them. We guard them from danger. Some parents, however, unintentionally clip their child’s wings, preventing their child from taking a weather-beaten flight…the weathered flight that could teach them to soar above the storm.
Truth is, God in all of His authority and power has the capability of removing any painful experience from our lives. He does not want us to suffer and I believe His heart hurts when our hearts hurt. The shortest verse in the bible reveals this truth: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
Sometimes He does choose to remove the pain…..for which I am personally grateful! However, other times, He chooses NOT to remove it. We will never know until we are in Heaven the true intention and wisdom behind each decision.
John 16:33 tells us, “[i]n the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” In this life, we will have pain. There is a misconception in the Christian community, which suggests, “God will not give you more than you can handle.” This proposition is simply not Scriptural. God WILL GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE. As my pastor says, “He will not give you more than He can handle.” The Bible does tell us, “He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear” (1 Cor. 10:13). He uses painful lessons and experiences to mold us. To help us grow spiritually. To allow us drop to our knees and bow our heads to pray…to reach towards heaven when our sinful natures are urging us to keep our eyes on earthly matters. God knows what it takes for us to reach the end of ourselves and reach out to Him. Do you have a “whatever it takes” perspective?
When we shelter our kids from all pain, they may miss an opportunity to grow closer to God. He mends broken hearts and puts broken pieces of ourselves back together again. Our lives may look like the back of a cross-stitch project now, all splotchy and messy. However, the front is the beautiful picture woven together stitch by stitch to reveal a beautiful tapestry.
So I ask, what if the one thing we shelter our kids from ends up being the very thing God uses to draw your child to Him? Which pain would you take away?
“I am certain that I never did grow in grace one-half so much anywhere as I have upon the bed of pain.”—Charles Spurgeon