Finding Pleasure in Pain {Holy (cow) Week Day 6}


even the mimes couldn't stand the crying

At six weeks old my daughter got a urinary tract infection that went septic.  Her only symptom was a fever (I would have called her relentless blood curdling screams a symptom — but those were normal for her), so the initial pediatricians visit ended with a “call me if she gets worse.”  She got worse . . . at like 1 am . . . we ended up in the ER.

I learned quickly that Emergency rooms are not designed for babies.  A team of nurses, medical assistance, IV specialist, radiologists, and doctors all did their part to confirm a diagnosis.  It was worse than trying to find Waldo.

My poor daughter was manhandled,  poked, prodded, cathed, and put in a medieval torture device for x-rays.  With every failed attempt to “get the vein,”  her wails increased both in pitch and intensity.  I almost punched the doctor who said, “I don’t think we need to worry — she’s obviously not lethargic.”

I could do nothing but sit back and watch her pain.  My husband curled in a ball in the corner and sobbed.  I wanted to cry with him, but knew that I couldn’t.  I had to hold it together, let the doctors do their thing, because healing would not come by any other means.

When the judgement finally came down and she received her first round of IV antibiotics, they sent us to the pediatrics wing.  The fever had to subside for 72 hours before I could take her home.   In the room they assigned her was a crib.  Not the sweet wooden kind with a mobile, but a three-foot tall metal cage with a foam mattress.  I refused to put her in it.  Instead, I unfolded the couch , held her as close as I could, and finally cried a little.  She, on the other hand, was quiet for the first time all night.  She was at peace.

I truly believe there is no greater pain, than to watch your child suffer.  Nothing could convince me to willingly put my child through pain, and nothing could keep me from being there through her suffering.

But God did.  It even says that it pleased Him to do so.

He allowed His Son to be stricken for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities,  Christ bore our shame, and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.  God did not find pleasure in Christ’s pain, but He knew that it was the only way for healing to come.  The cross pleased the Lord, because Christ would see the labor of His soul.  He would bear sin, and justify many (Isaiah 53:11).

We are the labor of Christ’s soul.  He suffered silently through the 39 lashes, the carrying of the cross, the nailing of His hands and feet, He did not defend Himself, He answered not His accusers nor His mockers.  But His soul labored.  He made just one cry:  my God why have you forsaken me?

He experienced separation from the Father, and it was the only part of His sacrifice that brought enough grief to make Him cry out.  His soul labored, but He willingly gave up His spirit.

My mind cannot even begin to understand that moment — when the Father turned His back on His suffering son.  The agony for both is beyond my comprehension.

But I know  with confidence the end result.  It is our peace.  Our ability to enter into the presence of God, to curl up upon His chest and to understand rest.  While Christ sits at the right hand and says, “It’s okay, they’re here with me.”

You are the labor of His soul.

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