I learned a valuable lesson from my daughter today. She is 6.5 years old and hasn’t lost a tooth yet. Her greatest desire for the last year has been for her teeth to start falling out. I know right, here I sit at 35 years old and mournfully wonder when I’ll need a set of dentures with all the extractions I’ve already had and there’s a 6 year old wishing hers away. She would watch enviously as her brother lost tooth after tooth, she would come home from school and wistfully tell me how so-and-so had lost a tooth that day in the classroom. I explained that she had only started teething after she was 10 months old, and this was probably why her teeth were falling out late. I explained that the longer it took, the healthier her new shiny white pearls would be and the more she would appreciate them! She was not appeased. She couldn’t understand why everyone else was going through the joy of losing and gaining new teeth; why everyone else was getting money from the tooth fairy and she was being denied. It hurt, especially because her 7 year old brother has lost 7 teeth already. I fear that by the time she starts losing teeth, she’ll be at an age where she doesn’t even believe in the tooth fairy anymore!
Yesterday I received a hysterical call at work. She was sobbing so hard, I couldn’t make out what she was saying. Eventually I calmed her down and we did some breathing exercises and she told me that her bottom tooth was loose. Of course, I went into panic mode thinking she had had some sort of accident to warrant the pain and agony she was experiencing from this loose tooth, right? She explained that no, nothing had happened, her tooth was just loose.
Turns out the whole sensation gave her the fright of her life. That which she had longed for, for the longest time, didn’t actually make her feel that good after all. I eventually calmed her down enough to laugh about it and I managed to muster a bit of excitement out of her. But man, she is still paranoid. She woke me up twice in the middle of the night to verify if I was sure-sure-sure she wouldn’t swallow her tooth and choke on it during the night. Her hand and tongue are constantly fiddling with the little tooth, she doesn’t appear to be enjoying this at all.
And then I got thinking.
Sometimes we pray, and we pray, and.we.pray.. but still it seems like we are not getting our prayers answered. Other people around us seem to be blessed, they are getting promotions, driving fancy cars, their children are well behaved, they go on fancy holidays, their spouses seem like they’ve fallen straight out of the Garden of Eden, their lives are AMAZING.. but why God, aren’t you answering MY prayer? You know I need a new job to afford the school fees. You know I need my sick parents to get better because I don’t have the time and resources to look after them. You know I need my debt cancelled so I can start afresh. You know my marriage is failing, why won’t you intervene? You know my boss is treating me unfairly, why won’t you move him? Or me? You know I can’t relate to my teenage kids and they have fallen off the right path, why can’t you fix them? You know I am lonely and depressed, make me better? You know I have health challenges, why aren’t you healing me? Guys, the list goes on and on.
But Hannah’s tooth saga reminded me that God’s timing is perfect. Because He knows us. He knows that sometimes we are not ready to handle what is coming. He knows that sometimes we need to go and grow through certain things so that we are equipped to deal with that which we are praying for. Trying to push the hand of God, always lands us in deep water. I bet if Hannah could go back, she would not wish so desperately for that tooth to come out! It’s a silly analogy but it works. I know in my own life when I have tried to do my own thing, when I have not consulted God and gone out and made things happen the way I think they should or done something because I felt I DESERVED it… those things have failed. I know that often the things I have begged God for, and which didn’t ever materialise.. in hindsight I can look back and say “Wow, God, thank you for NOT answering that prayer because my life would have taken an entirely different path if that had actually worked out! A path I know NOW, was not good for me” I’ve learned that waiting on God, builds resilience and grows character. I’ve learned that in the waiting and the trusting, He allows other lessons to be learned. I think what we fail to remember is that ultimately God’s plans for you are good. You just have to trust Him. You just have to go where He leads. You just have to tend to your garden where He has put you. You just have to be faithful with what you have. Remain faithful and obedient. Sometimes we think God is saying no, when really He is saying not yet, or nope you deserve better than that, or trust Me because you wouldn’t want Me to open that door if you knew what was really behind it. Your denial is not always a no. And when you do get that “pearly white” it will be at the perfect time and perfect for you.
There are people going through some stuff. Serious, tragic, heartbreaking stuff. I know that some people may feel that God has turned His back on them. I know there are even believers who are doubting that God cares. I know that there are people who have lost all hope, who can’t see a way out, who can’t see HOW God could fix this situation that He has allowed to go on for so long. But I want to remind you that God sees you, and He hears you and He cares. Won’t you trust that your Father knows every hair on your head and that He is MORE than able to give you a rich, rewarding, ridiculously fruitful life. He is a good, good Father!
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has so much as imagined anything quite like it – what God has arranged for those who love Him. 1 Cor 2: 9
I hope this reaches someone today who needs to read it. I’m praying for you! And for my Hannah’s teeth to fall out and grow back without her losing her mind xxx