Thursday, June 5, 2008

the pain of being a father

Charles H. Spurgeon was a great man, pastor and theologian. He had great gifts, but also have great afflictions. He suffered from many things, one of them was gout. He developed the disease at age 31, and was often debilitated by it. He speaks of one of his episodes from gout in a sermon:

"When I was racked some months ago with pain, to an extreme degree, so that I could no longer bear it without crying out, I asked all to go from the room, and leave me alone; and then I had nothing I could say to God but this, 'Thou are my Father, and I am thy child; and thou, as a Father art tender and full of mercy. I could not bear to see my child suffer as thou makest me suffer, and if I saw him tormented as I am now, I would do what I could to help him, and put my arms under him to sustain him. Wilt thou hide thy face from me, my Father? Wilt thou still lay on a heavy hand, and not give me a smile from thy countenance?' ... So I pleaded, and I ventured to say, when I was quiet, and they came back who watched me: 'I shall never have such pain again from this moment, for God has heard my prayer.' I bless God that ease came and the racking pain never returned"

Spurgeon said he never again had that pain, yet pain did continue in his life, eventually killing him at the age of 57. The man experience and knew pain.

Today I went with Brayden, my youngest son, to have the pins taken out of his elbow. If you don’t know the story, Collin, his brother, pulled him backwards one day while they were running in the backyard. They were being boys, but Brayden fell hard on his left arm and broke it at the elbow. He had to go to Phoenix Children’s hospital and have pins put in it. I went today and the pins were pulled out. I am not sure if it was more the pain or more the fear. The doctor assured me the pain from the pins is minimal, pulling the tape off is probably what hurt the most, and of course he cried because he was scared.

As I held my crying son, my heart broke like has only happened a few times. Other times when my children have been hurt and I couldn’t stop the pain. I would have given anything to take his place, to be the one who had to endure the pain. I couldn’t. I think God is often in the same place. For whatever reason, we must endure pain. Its part of the human experience, the human condition, it makes us grow and heal and mature. It hurts us, and I know it hurts God as our Father. He wants to fix it for us, and the only way to fix it is to let us endure.

I had no choice but to hold my son as he cried as the doctors caused him physical pain. The only way his arm would be made right was through the pain. The only way we are made right is sometimes through the pain. Cry if you must, hold onto the Father, He loves you and will see you through it.

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