Not too long ago, my 2 1/2-year-old had to have his normal childhood vaccines that all kids get. I sat holding him in the little room while he looked around smiling and laughing, blissfully unaware of what was about to happen. But it didn’t stop my heart from breaking, because I knew he was about to be hurt. The nurse walks in with the three shots Gabriel is to be given. He still doesn’t know what’s going on, but it only takes a minute for him to catch on. I know those shots hurt me worse than him. It was bad enough that he was crying and in pain, but then he was screaming “Mommy!” and I just had to hold him down and let someone, in his eyes, cause him terrible pain. I could have told the nurse to stop, of course. But without the shots, we were risking a lot of unnecessary illnesses that common, modern medicine can and has prevented. So with tears in both of our eyes, he got his shots. And when it was over, I hugged and rocked him, saying over and over again, “I have you. You’re okay.”
I never want my son to be hurt or in pain because I love him so much. If he cries out to me, it just breaks my heart. When he’s scared, in pain, he’s had a bad dream or he’s gotten cut on a thorn bush, a part of me just breaks. And there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to see him through to the very end of his problem.
When Jesus was praying in the garden before being crucified, we couldn’t even begin to imagine His fear. He’s praying relentlessly, begging God to not let this happen. He’s asking if there’s any other way, but yet, God’s will be done. And God, loving us so much and knowing that there had to be a perfect sacrifice to save us from our sins, chose to continue with His plan. And Jesus was nailed to a cross because of God’s love for us. When it was over, I know that God must have held Him so close and so tight, and surely He comforted His son in a way that any loving and caring parent would.
For a parent to have to watch their children suffer is so horrifyingly painful. And God had to watch as His only begotten son was murdered. Yes, God could have taken the pain away, but to save us from ourselves, it had to take place. Now, we can have peace, we can have eternal life, we can know the love of our Father, we can live without fear and fear nothing.
Jesus, as He was still hanging from the cross, looked up to the heavens and said, “Father, why have You forsaken me?” It’s easy to feel like you’ve been left or forsaken by God when we live in a society and a world molded by men. It’s easy to sometimes feel like God isn’t there. But trust and believe, you were bought at a very painful, heartbreaking price, and God paid that price because HE LOVES YOU. And He will never leave His children.