Yesterday we decided to take the boys out biking. We used to bike a lot as a family, but where we live in Alaska doesn’t have great biking areas so our boys usually just scooter. We went to a parking lot and took the training wheels off and, lucky me; I got to be the one who predominately worked with one of my sons. He was scared. He didn’t want to try. He was not happy. But we kept working on it. He did great. He learned how to ride a bike. Then when he was showing his dad…it happened. He fell. He scraped his pinky finger. He was devastated and never wanted to get back on a bike again…but we made him ride around a bit more then gave him a movie night with mom and dad. On the way back home we were talking about pain. We had joked it off at the time after checking to make sure it wasn’t too serious. He said, “Mom, you really wouldn’t ever want me to get hurt would you?” My answer was, that I can’t shield you from every hurt or pain. That’s part of life and mom’s that really love their children let them do hard things so that they can become stronger and better people. But that mom’s never like to see their kids hurting and will be there to love and help their kids through it, but not necessarily take the pain away. We kind of talked about things for a few minutes and how he really did not want to ride a bike. He is 8 and he has a Cub Scout bicycling event coming up. So it is past time. We talked about how sometimes the things worth learning how to do are hard and take work and yes it would be easier to quit but in the long run it will hinder you. Stuff like reading, learning to swim, math, and relationship building can all be hard and scary but is important. Then we talked about Min. She is going to have her little body cut open for a heart repair surgery. It will be painful. It will be hard. I think probably given the choice many people in the moment would opt out. And if we wanted to shield our children from all pain we would, but it will be to give her life. That really hit home. Because parents who truly love their kids don’t try make everything super easy but try to help their kids to grow to be wonderful people who can have full happy lives.
I felt like I got a little glimpse of God’s work with us. Yes, we have pain. Yes, we have life lessons that we might wish to opt out of. Yes, in many ways we can want to rail against the one who seems to be making us go through things that we think are too hard. But in the end, we were not meant to just go through life easily. We are here to grow and be tested and make it through tough experiences. And they make us stronger and better people. And God still loves us and will walk through life with us and will comfort us and encourage us even if He doesn’t take the hard stuff out of our path. And I am grateful to know that He loves us that much.