by Kolleen Lucariello
I was a bit nervous when I arrived at the doctor’s office to have a suspicious spot removed from my left shoulder. I am definitely not a fan of needles or scalpels. The doctor came in, took a look at the site, and asked me to lie down on the table. He began to outline the area he would be removing. When he finished, he said, “A little poke as I give you some Novocain.”
I don’t think he waited quite long enough for the Novocain to work, for I felt that first slice of the knife. I gasped and he said, “Oh, did you feel that?” I assured him I did. He didn’t say anything, but just continued working. Within a few minutes, he was ready to stitch me up.
There was a painful sensation with every prick of the needle.
Me: I don’t think the Novocain went down far enough.
Doctor: Is this hurting you, or does it feel like pulling?
Me: It HURTS. It feels like a severe pinch…like a needle is going through my skin.
Doctor: Oh. No need to be a hero. Let’s put some more Novocain in there.
“No need to be a hero?” I wasn’t trying to be. In fact, I was actually feeling pretty weak after enduring the pain during the procedure.
But as I thought about his comment, I realized how often I struggle with the Lord over pain, too. I prefer a life with no discomfort—no pain for me, thanks. I’d like life to be comfortable and easy – but it never is.
A knife cuts deep with a scary doctor’s report, a middle-of-the-night phone call, a police officer’s arrival, or a rebellious teenager’s actions. We wince as angry words pierce our hearts, or as we receive a wound from those whom we least expect it. Our first reaction can be to run for something to numb the pain; whatever might make us feel better. I headed straight for the ice cream when I came home from my procedure – and ate it right from the container, too.
We can also react by trying to be a hero in the midst of our pain, building a wall around our hearts by refusing to allow anyone to help us through the worst of our days.
But wouldn’t it be great if we first ran straight to Jesus? After all, He can enable us to overcome those bad times. He promised to leave us with His peace: “Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge]” (John 14:27, AMP).
There’s no need to be a hero. We already have One; His name is Jesus. Only He can give the strength and peace we desperately need in times of trouble.
“I love you, O Lord, my strength.” The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18: 1-3 NASB
About the author: Kolleen Lucariello, #TheABCGirl, is the author of the devotional book, The ABC’s of Who God Says I Am. Kolleen shares her struggle with identity authentically, bravely and yet, with compassion and humor as she seeks to help others change their identity – one letter at a time. Kolleen and her high school sweetheart, Pat, make their home in Central New York. She’s mother of three married children and Mimi to five beautiful grandkids. For more information about Kolleen, visit her at www.speakkolleen.com.
Join the conversation: What do you tend to do in reaction to a painful experience?