As a parent, you do things for your kids that you know they’ll hate, and quite honestly… you’ll probably hate too. But you do them for their good. You do them because you’re an adult and adults do hard things, even when they don’t want to. One of these things for us is bringing our third born Levi to the dentist.
If you don’t know our son Levi, he is six years old, intense about everything, full of energy, and love. He also has Down syndrome. While I never want that to define him, I bring it up because it’s important to the story. Down syndrome comes with a host of difficulties. One being that Levi is on the autism spectrum and he struggles with sensory overload. Sounds, lights, and busy places can give him intense anxiety. So, the dentist is basically our worst nightmare.
My wife Allie describes a dentist visit like this, “Imagine WWE with fluid and sharp objects in the mouth of the person you’re wrestling.” You would not believe how strong a six-year-old is!
And it’s not really his fault. He is terrified of the dentist. He doesn’t know how else to react accept look to the parents he loves so much and ask for help. The crazy part to him is he wants help from us yet we say, “I love you buddy,” and hold him down allowing the dentist to keep working. You can see it in his eyes, “If you loved me you wouldn’t make me go through this!” And we communicate back, “Because we love you, you have to go through this.” He doesn’t yet understand.
This is a bit like pain and suffering in our lives. Every one of us is coming out of a difficult season, heading into one, or right in the middle. Each time it can seem like God is not present. It may even seem like he’s keeping us in this difficult season. We may not understand, and we may even pray, “God if you loved me you wouldn’t make me go through this.” But God looks back with every ounce of care and says back, “Because I love you, you have to go through this.”
That doesn’t make the pain any easier. It just helps us know that even our pain is not out of God’s control. Tomorrow we’re continuing our series Skeptic with the question: If there is a good and all-powerful God, why do pain, evil, and suffering exist? I hope that you’ll join us tomorrow for worship and I hope that through the Scriptures we can illuminate how God works through pain.
Join us for worship tomorrow!
493 Centre St.
Jamaica Plain 02130