Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Doctor/Nurse (11/02/06)
TITLE: An Ounce Of Prevention
By RuthAnn Cornelson
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I agreed with her that of course she didn’t, nobody likes shots. I then tried to explain how shots are very important because even though they hurt for a minute, they protect us from very bad sicknesses which would hurt much more. Her unblinking stare told me clearly that being protected from some unknown, nebulous, future danger meant nothing compared to the immediacy of the needle soon to puncture her arm. Finally, resorting to bribery, often referred to as positive reinforcement, which seemed appropriate in this situation, I told her that if she was a brave girl she could have a milkshake. Her eyes brightened momentarily, but dimmed again quickly.
After the Doctor checked her out he said that the nurse would be in to give her the injection, and left. The door had no sooner shut than Camille jumped off the table and crawled underneath, pressing her self against the back wall, knees hugged to her chest. Kneeling on the floor, peering under the table I said firmly, “Camille, come out here, now. I am not crawling under there after you.” Her head shook “no” in response. I reminded her of the milkshake if she was a brave girl. She shrank further back.
The nurse entered the room with injection tray in hand. I looked up from my ignoble position on the floor. She glanced around the room, set the tray down, and, nodding her head in the direction of the table firmly stated to me, “I’ll be back in a minute.” Apparently this was not the first time she had encountered this situation and clearly she was not going to help me in getting it solved. In my very firmest tone I commanded Camille to come out from under the table, explained that there would be consequences if she did not, and that the opportunity of the milkshake was rapidly diminishing. Slowly her head emerged and she crawled out. By the time the nurse came in she was sitting up on the table, prepared to face the inevitable. I put my arm around her and held her tightly, she flinched when the needle went in, shed a few tears and it was done. “See, that wasn’t so bad,” I offered encouragingly. Her glare told me clearly that my comment was not appreciated and that a milkshake was definitely in order. We took our milkshakes in the car and soon we were singing along with Wee Sing as we drove.
Generally we think of the Doctor as someone we go to for healing, but in fact, frequently we go to the Doctor for prevention. Sometimes prevention involves pain, but as with Camille’s injection, that momentary pain provides protection from far greater suffering. Like Doctors and nurses, God sometimes has to prescribe difficult or painful things for us in order to inoculate us against the spiritual germs and viruses we face daily. Perhaps things like, take up your cross, deny yourself, resist the devil, flee sinful lusts, meditate on the word, and stand firm, are God’s inoculations against future suffering we face from bad choices we make, evil influences we allow, or seeds of doubt, bitterness and rebellion we foster.
Denying, resisting, fleeing and meditating are often difficult or painful, but are God’s prescription for spiritual health and strength to protect us from the sin that so easily overtakes us. So don’t crawl under the table and hide the next time God gives you a tough prescription, just take your medicine, follow the Doctor’s orders, visit Him regularly, and live well and happily, now and forever after.
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