I was helping my son to brush his teeth the other day, when I once again could not help but notice that one of his front teeth is coming out just a little on the crooked side. That reminded me of the time when about 6 or 8 months ago, while those front teeth were just starting to come out, that my son was playing with his friend Dunovan in front of our house on a snow mound (it was, of course, in the middle of winter). However it happened, Dunovan’s boot ended up against my son’s mouth, and blood began to come out at just that spot … where the two teeth were coming out!
Ouch! I knew that the impact of the boot at that particular spot might just have a bearing on how the tooth would come out later on, and it seems I was right. The tooth is coming out a little crooked.
Well, in helping my son to brush his teeth on this particular evening, I said to him, “Every time I see that tooth, I think back to the time when you and Dunovan were playing together on that mountain of snow, and he ended up with his foot against your mouth.” I was, I have to be honest, just a little ‘ticked’. All I could see were dollar signs posted above his teeth, beckoning me to ‘pay out’ in order to get that one tooth straightened at some point in the future! “Argh!” was my inward groan. “… that tooth!”
Well, God does have his ways. For one, you have to look at it from God’s perspective. He’s not nearly as worried about that tooth as I am. I tend to take things like this “very seriously”, whereas God is probably thinking something in the order, “I’m glad I let it happen. It’s a good test for Danny to see how he responds to the whole situation. Does he even believe I can provide the money needed for him to get it fixed?”
True to this thought, I was gracious in mentioning it to my son. I simply said, “Every time I see that tooth, I think back to the time when you and Dunovan were playing together on that mountain of snow, and he ended up with his foot against your mouth.” Well, my son’s answer delighted me, and, once again, I am sure it is an example of how the Lord often-times speaks to us through the mouths of children. My son said, in the most gracious of ways, “Yes, dad, it’s a reminder tooth!”
Ah … what a good response, generated by pure faith. The simplicity by which that came out was pure gold, and made me forget my worries altogether.
Yes, that tooth is and was a “reminder tooth” as my son put it. But it’s not a reminder tooth in the way that I had originally put it to my son. Rather, it’s a reminder that God does all things well, and that we are to trust him in every situation.
Every time you and I see a reminder of something that ‘appeared to go wrong’, let it be a reminder to us that God is able to work all things together for the good to those that love him, to those who are called according to his purposes. (Romans 8:28)