It’s a process that for the most part every mom will walk through with their baby. Immunizations. Today we just finished our second round of them. The first time we went and I sat in the chair and held Caleb tightly to myself. It seemed like the most cruel thing, cuddled safe in your mom’s arms to be stabbed with two painful needles. As he screamed, the tears flow in heavy streams down my cheeks. He stopped crying shortly after, but I could not pull myself together. The nurse laughed and told Caleb “you did better than mommy!”. That whole day every time I remembered his face or that shriek from the needle I would start crying all over again. My heart truly was broken. All I wanted was for them to give me the needle instead, and maybe it could transfer through my milk, or something, anything but my baby going through that.
Round two came today and I cried all the way from the house to the clinic and cried in the clinic waiting for our turn, as a tragic Rascal Flatts song played in the background. I felt like I was leading Caleb to the slaughter. After all, he trusts me, we’re basically inseparable, he recognizes my tones, my faces, even my feelings, and I know all of his. While watching his sleepy eyes look up at me as his soother rhythmically moved up and down in his mouth, the guilt piled higher and higher.
We got to the room and went through the appointment and the time arrived for the injections to be given. I held him tightly to myself and was very honest with him about what was going to happen.
“Remember honey, mommy loves you so much, that’s why we’re doing this. Mommy’s going to hold you through it all and do everything possible to reduce your pain”.
His big eyes looked up at me as though he understood something was about to happen. He cried when they went in, but probably only for a moment. I was so proud of him I didn’t even have a chance to cry myself.
“What an amazing boy you are Caleb!” I exclaimed, “so brave and so strong.”
Thankfully these experiences quickly become life lessons. I heard the Lord whisper to me “that was my heart for my son”. In a very well-known verse in the bible, John 3:16 it says
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (emphasis mine)
I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and heartache that God had to go through as he watched his one and only Son go through torture and death. Even though God can see the end from the beginning, he still loved his son immensely and it broke him that this had to happen. I can’t understand it, but I’m sure glad it happened. This is the ultimate example of “short-term pain for long-term gain”. Jesus had to suffer cruelly at the hands of men so that we, YOU and I, could not perish but live forever with him as sons and daughters of God. For God so loved the world, so loved us, that he sacrificed the one he loved because it was the only way to bring forgiveness of sins by a true, pure sacrifice.
Many people have often said to me “the immunizations are always harder on the moms than the babies”. And while death by crucifixion is the more horrific that anything I can imagine, watching my son go through that would be worse than me myself going through it. God put himself through great emotional torture, intense pain and sadness for the sake of you and I. The God of all the universe must have wept profusely. I do not want to take that for granted. I do not want to forget the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. I do not want to forget the sacrifice that God the Father gave for me as he walked through the pain of separation from his son.
The second realization I had on the drive home from the clinic is how one positive experience downplays the impact of the first. Meaning, because Caleb’s shots went so much better this time, I am way less traumatized and way less afraid of the future ones. We can become immune to God’s heart for us because Jesus did rise from the dead and he is still alive (and obviously that is the wonderful miracle of our faith, that we can have a personal relationship with a real and living Savior) but we can perhaps lose in that the depth of the love that God has for us. The sacrifice can lose its awe-inspiring qualities because in a sense “everything is ok now”.
If you haven’t experienced Jesus personally, I pray that God’s heart for you would bring you to your knees before him as you recognize the great love that he has for you. As the Son gave so much for us, so did the Father. He is passionate about you living a life that walks in the goodness and blessing he desires for you.
If you know Christ, I pray that my personal realization of the incredible heart of God would draw you deeper into a love relationship with the Father. We need daily revelation of his great love and sacrifice for us to spur us on to persevere and conquer the things in our life that need to be overcome and to be passionate lovers and followers of Jesus Christ. I am so glad that the Lord took my painful equation of a baby and two needles and make it equal a deeper understanding of his love for us.