I heard her cry from the other room. Like a mother lion knows her cub, I knew the pitch and the tone of her voice. I dropped everything and ran to the front desk at the dentist’s office.
“Excuse me, but I hear my daughter crying in the back. I’d like to go back and see her.”
I quickly walked to the exam room where my daughter was having her mouth “numbed up” in order to have two baby teeth pulled. Reassuring her as I slid between the counter and the chair where she reclined, I whispered, “Honey, I am right here. Try and take deep breaths. I’ll hold your hands. I know that it hurts. I’m so sorry. It will be over soon.”
The dentist tried to sooth her with the fact that the shots were the worst part. I tried to reassure her that although painful, this was in her best interest to have her two little teeth removed. They were inhibiting the growth of her new teeth. They needed to be extracted so that her adult teeth could move in to the right position.
At the moment, it didn’t matter to her. The pain of the small needle pricks was difficult for her to handle. Tears ran down her face as she squeezed my hand. Slowly, the Novocain began to work and the pain subsided. The grip of her hands relaxed and her crying slowed.
It was so hard for me to sit there and watch her sweet little face endure pain that I knew was necessary but none the less, painful. My heart thickened with sorrow as she squeezed my hands and I heard her moans of discomfort. My mouth even began to hurt. I, too, had struggled with having dental work performed and acutely remembered the fear and the pain (click here for story).
And as I shed tears and felt sick to my stomach at the sight of her pain – pain that was difficult but necessary -- I remembered Jesus. OH, how He hurts for us, too, as He watches us endure through physical and emotional trials and suffering. He weeps for us. He knows the pain of our pains. He is a man acquainted with our sorrows, and He loves us deeply.
Before I knew it (and before she did too, but not without a few more tears from fear) my daughter was out of the chair and we were on our way home. The skip in her step is back, and she is healing quickly.
Later, my dear daughter said, “Thanks, Mom, for holding my hand. It made me feel safe.” I knew how she felt, as I have held the Hand of One who has comforted me in all of my pains.
Dear reader, are you hurting today? Cry out to the Lord and He will answer you. “For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones” (Isaiah 29:13). He is present in your pain, holding your hand, covering you with His love. He sees your tears. You can feel safe with Him, trusting that what we are asked to endure is for our good, for we can be confident that in all things (not some) God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).