My two-year old granddaughter says this every time she sees a pair of scissors, a knife, a needle or anything that looks sharp. I smile, thankful that my son and daughter-in-law have done such a good job teaching her the consequence of playing with sharp objects. She knows that any object that has the ability to hurt her is off limits.
I wish all other kinds of pain were that easy to avoid. I wish more that we kept the child-like ability Lilly has to listen to a warning from those who love her and obey it.
From the very first book of the Bible we learn that mankind doubts that the rules of God have his best interest at heart. Eve was intrigued at Satan’s lie and tried the fruit, offered it to Adam and that was it. No turning back from disobedience.
The loving and wise parents and caregivers of little ones try diligently to keep them safe with rules that should be followed along with reminders of consequences, loving discipline or rewards. Our loving God gave us His Word complete with commandments to obey, true stories of imperfect men and women who failed and succeeded along with promises of the rewards of obedience.
The bottom line is – we obey whom we truly love. True love obeys always what it loves the most. Because those who really love the law makers trusts that whenever the rules come from someone who truly loves, they are for the good of those who follow. When Jesus was teaching His disciples in John 14, He tells them the truth like this, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15. “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word…He who does not love Me does not keep My words…” John 14:21 and 24. Ouucchh!
Wouldn’t it be good to look at those things that tempt us and think Ouucchh! When we are tempted to watch something that we know we wouldn’t be watching if Jesus were sitting in the room with us, think Ouucchh! Watching this could create in me a desire that does not bring any honor to Jesus. (Romans 7:8, James 1:15) When a godly conversation starts turning into a gossip session, Ouucchh! (Ephesians 4:29, James 1:26) When we turn to worry instead of turning to Jesus, Ouucchh! (Philippians 4:6, 1 Peter 5:7)
The bottom line is – we obey whom we truly love.
Lilly has learned that sometimes pain is necessary. She should know because this sweetie has a blood disorder that has made blood draws from her tender veins an all too frequent necessity. She knows all too well the meaning of the ouucch word and has learned that anything sharp has the ability to cause physical pain. But when it is time for her blood tests now, she is learning to surrender her arm to the phlebotomist because this is how the doctor knows if she needs help to “get better.”
As adults, we know that surrendering to pain is necessary at times in order to fix things. Just today, I spent an hour in a dentist chair knowing that something had to be fixed and there was no other way. The physical pain is worth the price, and so is the heart-felt pain when we need to confess and repent.
The Bible is like a mirror that reveals to us what needs fixing and sometimes it hurts to know our failures but that is what it takes to fix them. I’ve heard it said many times from those who know it to be true, “The Bible is God’s love letter to us.” Yes, it does have stern commands, stories that are difficult to read and understand and rules our fallen human nature does not want to follow. But it is filled with the love and grace of a Savior who loves us too much to allow us to destroy ourselves with sin. God sent His Son to bring us back to the place He created us to be: in fellowship with Him, forever. As we read this letter with prayerful, open hearts and minds, He gently shows us how to live an abundant life.
“The Bible is God’s love letter to us.”
As I experience my own ouucchhs, I am reminded that this is the way it is supposed to be. Pain is not something to be feared or something that comes without hope. Any new thing that gets birthed comes with some pain but it is always so worth it. This new life that Jesus promises comes with some suffering, but not without a Savior that suffered tremendously to give it to us.
We are His Beloved and in this love letter He tells us:
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” James 4:12
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
I am praying that I can walk with alert, open eyes to see those things that can harm my testimony, cause me to pollute my mind with evil thoughts, or may hurt another with my words or deeds and think “ouuchh!” My goodness, the things you can learn from a two year old.