When my daughter Kirsha was three years old, I left her with a friend for a few hours while I went to a doctor appointment. When I picked her up, I noticed a bite mark on her hand that had obviously been made by my friend’s three year old. When my friend saw me looking at the teeth marks she said, “I’m sorry. Robby is into biting and I don’t know how to stop him. What do you do?”
I told her that when my children bit someone I'd flip their lips with my index finger–just one quick flip that stings.
“Oh, I couldn’t do that,” she exclaimed, “I’m afraid I’d traumatize him.”
I didn’t think much more about it until that night when I pulled Kirsha’s shirt off and discovered 17 still well defined bite marks covering her back and arms. Shocked I thought about my friend’s words. Bite marks still visible six hours later were painfully inflicted. Surely Kirsha cried out. The irony was obvious. Her decision not to traumatize her son meant trauma for my daughter.
I learned a lot from that lesson. As a parent it is sometimes necessary to traumatize. And sometimes a loving God traumatizes us, to humble us, to teach us, to change the direction we are going and put us back on course.
Imagine you had cancer. It is growing, but has not yet spread. Your doctor tells you that an operation to remove the cancer will save your life, but then he says, “An operation will be very traumatic and cause you a lot of pain. It might also have serious complications. I don’t want to hurt you, so I won't perform the operation.”
No one wants a doctor like that. No one wants a God like that. When we feel the pains of life, we need to trust that God knows what He is doing and instead of getting angry and turning away from Him, our proper response should be, “Thank you.”
“Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.” D&C 59:11