Friday, December 10, 2010

No Pain, No Gain

My son got a rocking horse for his birthday but this was a rocking horse for a new generation. There were no hard wooden edges or piece and no metal of any kind. It is all plastic, padded, and rubber. It is designed to be injury-proof. I’m good with that as I do not enjoy taking my son to the emergency room or seeing him hurt for that matter. However it did remind me that we live in a society that goes to great lengths to make sure people are injury-proof. There are added safety features and safety regulations to everything, warranties. Insurance, liability waivers, politically correct rules for what you can and cannot say (hurting feelings is more loathed that bodily harm), and of course padded rocking horses.

I asked my son’s pediatrician recently why there seems to be a rise of allergies among children and he said our society is too clean. We are so “sanitize-crazy” that we weaken our immune system. Presently Asher has no allergies to speak of so I guess we aren’t clean enough in our home. I mention all this to point out an inherent trade-off in our injury-insulated society: we lose the lessons that come with scars.

Don’t inflict pain on yourself or others to learn life lessons. That’s dumb and sinful. However much of our personal and spiritual growth comes out of scars. Rather than obsessing over insulating ourselves from all harm we should trust the Lord and take life as He gives it to us. When He leads us through difficulties and pain we should remember that the fire is where refining happens. Consider what Solomon said to his son in Proverb 17:3, “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.”

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