Last week, on pediatric emergency medicine, I remember fondly my 20-month old patient with an upper respiratory infection. Even though his mother had brought him to the ER to get help for him, he wouldn’t cooperate with me to allow me to examine him and give him the help he needed!

After exhausting all the tricks in my bag in an attempt to help him comply, for his own good, I had to overcome his resistance, pinned him down and examined his ears and throat.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t examine his lungs and heart adequately because he was yelling the entire time.

What if he had cooperated?

Life would’ve been very easy for all of us.

As an agent of good, there were some things that I was able to do to help him even against his will. I was able to pin him down and look into his ears and mouth to look for otitis media and pharyngitis.

Yet, I couldn’t reach his heart and lungs. Those vital organs couldn’t be reached.  As powerful as I was, compared to my 20-month-old, I couldn’t reach the most important parts of him to offer help there if he needed it. His heart was out of my reach. The only way to get there was with his cooperation.

I think sometimes we deal with life just as this 20-month-old. And sometimes Life puts us through painful circumstances to help us. Yet, with matters of the heart, not even Life can force change on us without our cooperation.

How I wish we cooperated with Life’s amazing work on us!