Today I wanted to share a blog I wrote in June of 2009. It is as relevant now as it was then. My prayer is that it will bring you hope no matter your situation. Enjoy!
In yesterday’s edition of the Pine Creek Journal, there is a picture of a little boy dressed in his baseball uniform in full swing as the ball makes contact with his bat. The look on his face is priceless. It brings back memories of my own son who once received a trophy for being the boy on his team who loved the game the most. You can guess that he was no superstar and in fact, he was just an average player with no outstanding stats one way or the other. However, as his coach pointed out when he handed Bryan the trophy – no one loved the game more than he did.
My memories shifted to the day that ten-year-old Bryan fell off a slide at the playground and broke his elbow. In trying to relay the seriousness of the injury, the orthopedic surgeon described it as "the worst kind of break a kid could have." Bryan had two metal pins, four inches of stitches, and a hard cast for a month. The day the surgeon removed the pins and the stitches, I held my son still and watched as the doctor yanked the metal pins out of my baby’s arm with pliers and then ripped the stitches out in one long drawn out agonizing tug, all without the aid of a pain killer. Bryan was screaming. I’m usually a non-aggressive person, but I’ll tell you, my blood was boiling and I nearly hauled off and punched that man in the face for hurting my son like that.
The surgeon told me that he was unsure of how much mobility Bryan would regain. The toughest conversation I ever had with my little boy was to tell him that there was a chance that he would never play baseball again. As tears welled up in his eyes, he asked me if he worked really hard at the exercises the doctor gave him, would that help him be able to play. All I could tell him was that there was a chance, if he worked very hard, he would be able to play ball again. But if he didn’t work hard, he absolutely wouldn’t be able to ever play baseball again. Not the encouraging answer I wanted to give him, or the one he wanted to hear, but it was the truth and he needed to be told.
Bryan held onto that hope of "a chance" and worked as hard as he could. His elbow had healed and stiffened at the 90-degree angle it had been casted in. One of the rehab exercises consisted of me applying pressure on his forearm to help him straighten it. I remember him pleading with me to push down harder as tears streamed down his face from the pain. It took all I had to push harder and inflict more of the healing pain he needed to recover his mobility.
The lesson of this memory is that as I loved Bryan, so God loves me and even more. As my Heavenly Father, He loves me with a fierce devotion even greater than the one I had for my son. He loves me as I am. Even if I don't stick out in the crowd, His eye is drawn to me. When I’m hurt, He hurts and rushes to comfort me. When I’m happy, He shares in the joy. There is an unbreakable bond between us that goes far beyond responsibility and emotion. He will always reveal the truth to me even if it is something I don't want to hear. He loves me so much that He will do whatever is necessary, even if it is allowing painful circumstances in my life so that I may receive all the good things he has planned for me.
As I look back over my past, I can see many times in my life where His heart must have broken over the painful circumstances that he allowed to occur in my life. I can imagine Him feeling my pain as if it were His own so that I could have what He wants most for me – a better understanding of who He is, a greater love for Him, and an ever deepening relationship with Him. And with the hope he has given me, I can say, “Push down harder, Father” through the tears and the pain in anticipation of the good things I know He wants for me.