Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Emotionally Satisfying Answers

When I was very young, I absolutely hated getting shots - they hurt.

Every shot was a contest - me and Davy Crockett vs the evil nurse and Santa Anna - and, like the Alamo, the hero always lost. Though I don't remember it as being intentional, there was the time a nurse manged to get her chin in the way of my flailing little boots ...

It didn't matter how much my mother tried to explain to her 6 year old son that the medicine in the shot would make him well. I was looking for an emotionally satisfying answer. In fact the only answer that would be emotionally satisfying was -- no shot. I never got that answer.

More than once, I wondered how my otherwise loving mother could allow such harm to come to her favorite son!

Of course, now that I am older and have been in my mother's shoes, I see it differently. I see and understand now what I did not see nor understand as a child. The child wanted an emotionally satisfying answer; the parent wanted what was best for the child. Mama knew there was a greater good, even if the child cried and suffered pain.

We all want emotionally satisfying answers for tragedy, death, and evil -- but, like the child, the only emotionally satisfying answer we'll accept is for it to stop. For the Christian, we have the promise that one day all things will be made right -- death and evil will be banished, but, today, they are here and we are challenged to show forth God's Glory by perseverance and overcoming as our Savior did.

Also, the Christian has the assurance that our God is the wise loving parent that understands what we cannot and sees the purpose in what we go through. Our response should be "Not my will be done but Thine."

That is our comfort, and it is the best emotionally satisfying answer.