Last night as we were enjoying a gorgeous evening in our backyard, Christopher started complaining that his finger hurt. “Well, how convenient,” I replied, gesturing toward my hubby, “your dad is a finger doctor!” Christopher had two splinters in his finger, and after 10 minutes with the finger doctor, Christopher re-emerged from the house screaming hysterically. The splinters were too deep for tweezers, and Daddy would need to use a needle to scrape away the skin and get to the splinters.
For close to an hour, Christopher was hysterical, and we were miserable. He settled into an annoying wimper, and anytime we mentioned taking the splinter out, it erupted into terrified screaming. I tried begging, distracting, admonishing, and yelling (why is it that yelling at them to stop yelling NEVER works??). Will joined in, pointing his finger at Christopher and saying, “Stop that, right now!” exactly the way I do when they throw a tantrum or fight with each other. (Yep, that one hurt. Will be trying to remove that from my repertoire.) We even tried holding him down, with Little Einsteins playing for good measure, but he went ballistic and there was no way to keep his finger from moving.
So I stuck him in his room for several minutes while I calmed down. He was still crying when I went in, and he didn’t even want me in the room for fear that I would try to take the splinter out. It was insane. But this time I had come armed with new ammunition: Scripture and the promise of chocolate ice cream. I finally got him calmed down enough for us to talk about the situation. I asked if he remembered our memory verse for the week, which conveniently enough, is: Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9). We talked about how it might hurt a little, but that God would be with Him. Plus, if he was good and brave, he would get chocolate ice cream.
Finally, he agreed to the procedure, and Daddy worked on his finger for a few minutes while we repeated our Bible verse and talked about the ice cream.
Daddy was only able to get 1 1/2 of the 2 splinters out, so we gave up, put a band-aid on and went to get ice cream. Christopher commented, “God always gets the splinters out.” **Insert teaching moment here** I explained that God doesn’t always get the splinters out. Sometimes bad, scary, or hurtful things happen, but He promises He will be with us while we are hurting and scared.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I got the lesson God had hidden in the splinter incident for me. I have been feeling very anxious about losing a baby or having pregnancy complications–and I’m not even pregnant yet! The idea of becoming pregnant with preschoolers at home who would be traumatized if something sad happened is scary to me. I realized from my words to Christopher last night that I’m not going to get any promises from God that I will have a healthy, complication-free pregnancy. But I do have His promises that He will be with us. He will never leave us or forsake us! And, obviously, I need to pull out Calm My Anxious Heart again.