Last week Leila had a rough time. She was constantly dealing with pain in her mouth every time something bumped or rubbed against one of her front teeth. She has had this tooth bothering her for a while. It seemed to be a bit too much for her to bear this night.
Leila had decided that she wanted to battle this loose, bothersome tooth. One big problem: this meant causing more pain. In order to get it out, she had to touch it. To look at this tooth, it was a small, dangling lil thing, but she would not let us get near it. We pleaded with her as she examined it in the mirror, “let us get it out.” “It will be over before you know it.” She wanted nothing near her tooth and wanted us to stay out of her mouth.
Leila was determined to handle this one. She stared down her mouth in the mirror, making tough faces and looking serious. I decided not to push myself on her and force the issue, but I wanted to help anyway I could. So I prayed over her and her tooth. I called on Jesus for healing and strength for Leila for a while and then my five year old made what I believe was her first heart felt prayer.
“Jesus can you help me.”
Then she went back to work carefully wiggling. Her persistence to the issue was encouraging. It was great to see her not having a defeatist attitude and choosing to stick with it. However, she still refused to let me do more than coach and pray. Eventually exhaustion set in and she called it a night.
The next night was a beautiful thing. As my wife Lariza and I sat with Leila on the couch, she turned and looked at us with a look of concern and a frown. She complained of her tooth pain. She decided that she would let us get a little closer to the trouble. She allowed her Mama to take a look. The pain had clearly become so great and annoying that she told her Mama that she could try to get it out.
In one quick motion, using some tissue and forceful fingers, Mama reached in there and yanked that ugly little sucker out. Leila was in shock and so was Lariza. It was OVER! Lariza was surprised that Leila wasn’t screaming her head off. Leila was surprised that it didn’t really hurt. I was suprised at the inspiration that this gave me. This reveals a clear truth about how many of us live our lives.
We deal with pain, troubles, aggravation, stress, depression, sickness, and on…and on…. Too often we react to these like Leila. We start off complaining. Then we attack the pain; we go at the problem.
Worldly wisdom says this is the way to success and prosperity. But look, like Leila, the struggle wages on. She refused outside assistance, stared the problem down, and even eventually prayed about the concern. This only ended in an exhausted spirit. She felt like she had failed and felt that God had failed her in her time of need. I mean she prayed and really meant it.
However, she had the answer to her problem and the cure to her pain right next to her all along. All she needed to do was to trust that pain, that concern to her father who never left her but wouldn’t force his way into her issue. Sometimes we have to get exhausted in our own efforts, before we trust in the help that the Lord offers. She had enough of the pain, when she finally gave her pain over to someone she trusted. Her prayers as heart felt as they might have been, didn’t accompany surrendering that issue to the Lord.
When she finally surrendered it, she was suprised at how little it hurt and how good she felt. On top of that relieved and painfree sleep received, she got a tooth fairy bonus.
So how do you react to your pain, hurt, concerns, issues and everything that weighs you down?
Do you simply stare them down and put on your battle face? Do you offer up a prayer for assistance, but deny the God sent help that is there?
Dont wait til you exhaust your spirit, let your Heavenly Father get in there and yank that sucker out.
He can only heal the pain that you surrender to Him.
Is it harder to trust a perfect God, or deal with a perfect storm?