Last summer Jake started sporting a much more decorated, much more expensive smile. He got braces.
I really didn't need to worry. Jake was a trooper for the few days after he got his braces when his mouth was sore. We kept him filled up with smoothies and popsicles, and he was a good-natured little man.
Still, as the weeks passed his new gear gave him grief in small ways. He couldn't always eat the foods he wanted to in social settings. If he forgot he won a free trip back to the orthodontist to have a bracket reattached. And the time (and effort) it took to brush his teeth morning and night skyrocketed.
I think small bits of adversity can help us grow to become wiser, kinder, and more compassionate individuals, so I viewed a lot of his hardships as blessings in disguise. But one night, as he was again talking about discomfort and what he couldn't eat, I found myself wishing that I had needed braces as a child so I could understand his experiences and better know how to help him.
Frankly, as much as I want to know how to perfectly understand and help each of my children with each of their individual concerns, I am one mortal person, and I can't. But there is One who knows us. He has felt everything we feel and knows what we need. He understands us.
"Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows..." ~Isaiah 53:4
"And he will take upon Him their infirmities that His bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that He may know according to the flesh how to succor His people according to their infirmities." ~Alma 7:12
Oh, the times we all have in life when we desperately need the One who understands and can succor us. How I rejoice in his love and grace.
As we celebrate another glorious Easter weekend, I praise God for a Savior who knows me, my children, and each one of us. He knows what He need and He stands ready to help.