Painful Pokes

 

Baby being inoculated

Baby being inoculated

I winced while watching a beautiful Ethiopian baby submit to a measles inoculation with terrified cries of outrage, while adults held his bared arm steady. The little child had no understanding that the momentary, painful poke would save him from a life-threatening disease. Metaphorically, I’m like that child and cry out in pain when trials hit. But drawing from this parable, I must remember that my momentary, painful pokes of adversity serve a greater cause, allowing me to thrive spiritually, and are well worth a tiny stab of pain. These words from Richard G. Scott teach me: “When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? What have I done to cause this?—will lead you into blind alleys. Rather ask, What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?” In time I usually come to understand God’s purpose for my trials, measured in subtle increments of growth. I am a child of God—who loves me. “Know thou, my [child], that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good” (D&C 122:7).