Isn’t love such a strange thing?! Love is defined by the English Dictionary as
- A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person
- A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend
But to be honest I find it difficult to see love as tender. Real love that is. For example, one of my girls, the littlest, is 5. She turned 5 in May in a flurry of Mermaids and sparkles and played all day with her friends. It was a lot of fun, and that day we showered her with love, attention, gifts, time and praise. Like we do everyday but it’s always more special on your birthday… that day we loved on her and it was noteworthy, a happy memory.
Then we fast forward a few weeks to yesterday. My girl had a wobbly tooth, A-Roe did not enjoy having a wobbly tooth one bit! For numerous reasons, one of those was because she couldn’t eat her dinner without it hurting. All day she rubbed her chin, poked her tooth with her finger, and sobbed when she tried to suck her thumb and couldn’t. As I was a thumb sucking child I can sympathise with her… however this endured until bed time, she couldn’t sleep because she couldn’t put her thumb in her mouth with blankey to sleep. So around 9pm after going to and from her room finally she said “mam, pull it out”.
Now let’s be fair here, I’ve been a kid. I knew it would hurt… for a minute of two but then the pain would end and she would rest well for an adventure today. Did she know it would hurt? Yes, but she had no idea it would hurt as much as it would.
What was I to do? Leave her in daily pain to carry on being upset over every day things or pull that wobbly tooth out and leave her in pain for a few minutes but letting her rest (and have one of those adorably cute gaps for a few days)?
Yup I agreed. I pulled it out. My husband would have been queasy but my girl, little Ava was brave and in the face of pain she grimaced and let me pull because she knew that once that tooth was out she would be at ease.
We cleaned her up, and cuddled before she headed back to bed excitedly awaiting Mammy tooth fairy and of I went back to the living room to my shocked husband.
In this moment I got a glimpse of God. How many times have I had wobbly teeth and I’ve asked God to step in but I haven’t realised it would hurt as much as it does. You see Love isn’t always tender. Sometimes love hurts, because those who love us do what is best for us even when they know we could be hurt for a while.
Sadly I don’t always respond like Ava and trust the process will help. Sometimes I have pushed him away to my shame and left my self back where I started asking God again to step in.
How many times have we been there?
Too many to count probably. I’ll be honest in the midst of pulling my kids tooth out, I felt awful because I was inflicting pain on her with the objective of getting her to no longer be in pain.
I can imagine that God aches for us to. I imagine God weeps with us as we push at His hand and cry in His presence. I believe God weeps with me for His compassion for us, His love for us runs so deep that He would send His son to save us (John 3:16) so why would He not suffer with us? whether the issue be a stone in our shoe, a wobbly tooth, or a severe issue, God says Cast all your cares upon Him in 1 Peter 5:7. All! Not some, everything. why burden yourself down with daily things when we have a God who can take these burdens and deal with them?
Our responsibility as a Christian is two fold, bring the cares and stresses of this life to Him and trust the process. Trust that God knows us better, can see the bigger picture and will get us to the other side no matter how big or small the storm.
When our wobbly tooth moments come in this life, and they will, let’s trust that if God decides to remove it, that the pain will only last for a night, because he will bring Joy in the morning!