I was watching an old favorite family comedy on Hulu not too long ago. An adult member of the family was having a conversation with a young member of the family about the kid's loose tooth. In the course of the conversation, the adult told the kid that sometimes some things have to fall out in order to make room for new ones. I almost took a lap around my bedroom after hearing that! Then I started thinking about why we go through the process of losing teeth.
Children start losing the teeth--often referred to as baby teeth--because, as they grow, their jaws grow and mature, creating an environment that is designed to support permanent teeth. The jaw and jaw muscles grow and mature to be able to sustain permanent teeth. Did you catch that?! This whole process is focused on growth, maturity, and permanence. Baby teeth aren't permanent.....so eventually, they have to loosen up and drop out of the way so that permanent teeth have space to grow in. The baby teeth serve their purpose for a particular stage in early life, but they must give way to a new, more permanent situation.
Just like baby teeth, there are things in our lives that were never meant to stick around or become permanent fixtures on this journey. There are some people, circumstances, jobs, or situations that were only meant to serve a short-term purpose. Eventually, these elements must loosen up and drop out of the way so that God can position a new, more permanent circumstance in their place. In the meantime, He wants to grow you, mature you, and strengthen your spiritual capacity to sustain the permanence He's sending your way.
Instead of trying to hold onto a loose tooth, we allow it to fall out or we help it out by pulling it. However, it happens, it will eventually come out. By the same token, we must allow God to loosen up anything that is temporary in our lives so that it can drop out and make way for all of the amazing permanence that He has in store for us!!
"Forget the things that happened in the past. Do not keep on thinking about them. I am about to do something new. It is beginning to happen even now. Don’t you see it coming? I am going to make a way for you to go through the desert. I will make streams of water in the dry and empty land."
Isaiah 43:18-19 NIRV
Sometimes some things have to fall out in order to make room for new ones.
“He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams.” Psalm 23:2
I see a major theme in this verse. Rest. How many of us need it and don’t quite know where or how to access it? Let’s face it….life can seem like a rat race where we often feel like hamsters on wheels. Perpetual movement headed nowhere fast. Rest can seem elusive, playing hard-to-get while taunting us mercilessly as it continues to conceal itself from view. Rest appears to be something that is always just beyond our reach, accessible to others, but not to us.
We are parents with the responsibility of raising the next generation and we need rest. We are employees who work our fingers to the bone trying to make a living and a life and need rest. We are ministry leaders who continually pour into others and need rest. We are caretakers who are thinly stretched and in need of rest. Some are students struggling to find success and need rest. We are worriers who are stressed out and in need of rest. We are exhausted and anxious about tomorrow and in need of rest. We are emotionally depleted and in need of rest. We are broke and in need of rest. We are lonely and brokenhearted after much pursuit of what cannot fulfill us and are in need of rest. We don’t have the answers and would love some rest. We are tired of being tired and we just need a little rest.
It’s crazy how, after having run ourselves silly being everything to everyone, without accomplishing much at all, we find ourselves exhausted. We thought we knew exactly what to do, but all we actually accomplished was arriving at a state of weariness that is challenging to recover from. Weariness doesn’t just mean tired. Weariness soaks into your spirit like winter air does a house without a source of heat. Weariness touches every bone in your body and every nerve ending. Weariness decelerates the heartbeat of motivation and inspiration, slowing the lifeblood that powers your will to keep going. It’s like sludge, thick in oil that affects its ability to circulate in a motor. Weariness works on your desire to move forward. In the wake of weariness, you need rest.
Rest. A period of inactivity. An intermission. Peace. Quiet. Refreshment. Relaxation. Repose. Silence. A mental or spiritual tranquility.
Rest follows activity. After all of the activity -- physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual -- God promises to give us rest. A break. Breathing space. Calmness. Down time. Isn’t that AWESOME???
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
It’s simple. Stop whatever you’re doing and look up. God wants to give you rest.
You can call me Jenn. Let's sit on the front porch, grab a tall glass of sweet tea, and chat about life. I communicate through writing and I so enjoy the conversations that squeeze out of my thoughts and words. I especially look forward to hearing your responses to my thoughts and words that spark other conversations, peak interest, and inspire change.