I received this photo of a friend’s granddaughter’s new smile recently. She was so happy to have lost her tooth! And a this point she hadn’t received the very generous gift from the Tooth Fairy that comes to her grandparents’ house.
When I saw it, I had a flash of understanding of how I am/we are usually not that happy when we lose something. We have all lost things this year—some more significant than others. Weddings, graduations, freshman year, senior year, sports, proms, vacations—to name a few. Then there are the losses that are even more significant—loved ones, jobs, homes, peace.
But what if—what if—God can redeem what we lost with something that brings joy and peace? Contentment. Not to minimize the pain of our loss, but what if we can learn to recognize we have the power of God to redeem, replace, rebirth, or regrow what we have lost in a way that is different, and good?
Then there are the things that we hold on to that God knows if we would let go of our lives would be better. Control. Anxiety. Anger. Bitterness. Greed. Pride. To name a few.
What if we trusted God, like this little girl trusted her dentist grandfather, who helped with the final “letting go” of this baby tooth, to help us let go of the things that will keep us from receiving what God has for us in the future?
What if we let God replace our striving for peace? Impatience with patience? Anger with forgiveness? Dissension with unity? Control with trust? Anxiety with joy?
There is a theme throughout scripture that talks about the Kingdom of God—the Kingdom of Heaven. It is in that space, that kingdom, that these redemptions are promised and happen. From Lamentations 3:22-23 when we are reminded that the steadfast love the Lord never cease and that his mercies are new every morning, to Philippians 4:7 where we are told that we will receive the peace that passes understanding to guard our hearts and minds, we are continually reminded that God loves us and is here for us.
For even the biggest losses, we can be reminded throughout scriptures, that the basis of our faith is all about this. We find promise in Jesus’s resurrection. We find his power over even the worst that life can throw at us—sin and death, heartbreak and crushing disappointment. We can choose to try to live within the Kingdom of God where this is a reality, instead of by our own abilities and power.
While I may not smile like this when I lose something, I can rest in the hope that I have an all powerful God who can and does redeem the losses I experience now, and can have faith that eventually I will smile like her!
Rev. Shannon Jordan is the pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Decatur, AL To receive notifications when there is a new post click on the menu (three horizontal lines) at the top right, scroll down and enter your email where it says “Follow Blog Via Email”. To see the previous blog, click on the arrow under the menu, or if you want to see more blogs, click on the grid under the arrow. On the main page, if you hover over a photo, you will be given an option to read the blog. On that page the arrow will take you to another page of blog photos. Enjoy!
You can find her on Facebook at @ShannonJordan1 or Instagram at @cameraprayers. Westminster Presbyterian can be found at @wpcdecatur or on Instagram at @801_Jackson_Street.