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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shots and Scripture

When I was a kid, I hated getting shots. I don’t love getting shots now, but back then I was terrified of the needle. One time, I was in the doctor’s office with my dad and the doctor told me I needed to get a shot. I cried. From my view as a child, I could not grasp what good could come out of purposely poking me with a needle. My dad and doctor knew better. I needed the shot so that I would not get sick. It was in my best interest. The slight and momentary pain of the needle paled in comparison to the serious illness I could avoid by taking the shot. My dad knew this and he loved me, so he told the doctor I would take the shot. Empathizing with my fear, my dad asked the doctor to inject him with an empty syringe to show me that I would be okay. In my young mind, this was the ultimate sacrifice—my dad willingly underwent the pain of a needle piercing through his skin for the sole reason of helping me go through it. Seeing my dad do this encouraged and empowered me to sit still for the shot.

While I am no longer afraid of shots, this experience with my dad still comes to mind frequently as a way of understanding suffering in my life today. My Loving Heavenly Father, graciously brings suffering into my life for my good. Similar to my thoughts as a child, I often still have that feeling of only seeing the short-term pain in suffering and not understanding the long-term good that comes to me through suffering. Yet, my God promises in His Word that ALL THINGS work for my good, even suffering. Furthermore, just like my earthly father willingly subjected himself to a painful needle as an example to me, Jesus Christ willingly subjected Himself to a life of suffering, serving as an example to me! Unlike my earthly father, Jesus lived a sinless perfect life. My perfect God humbled Himself to not only save me from the death I deserved, but also to serve as my perfect example of how to live life in righteousness. What scandalous and empowering love is this! I love how the book of Hebrews puts this:

Hebrews 2

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying,“I will tell of your name to my brothers;in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children God has given me.” 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 4

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


Anonymous said...

yay - a picture! you should also post the song we made up for dad.

Heather said...

Bina, I just love and appreciate your posts and how they draw me nearer to God. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight with us. I have given you the title, "Devotion Diva" on my link list (since everyone has a nickname). I think it suits your blog to a T since your posts are devotions for us! You should seriously think about writing books girl!