He has a terrible toothache.
And an earache caused by the tooth trouble.
In a couple weeks, after Kenya has all four of his wisdom teeth removed, the aching in both his ear and mouth will subside.
At least after he recovers.
Although he isn’t looking forward to the oral surgery, he would much rather endure the temporary discomfort for a few days after the extractions, than to deal with these awful symptoms indefinitely.
Since I’ve never had my wisdom teeth removed, I listened carefully as he told me what to expect following this process.
He is expected to be very sore. Possibly swollen. He won’t be able to eat solid food.
None of that sounds fun.
Again, he is not exactly clicking his heels together, but earlier today, he told me, “I can’t wait to get these teeth pulled!”
Painful recovery and all.
Kenya just wants to be over this issue as fast as possible.
Very often, life is like Kenya’s wisdom teeth saga.
Lessening the pain of our present situation is desirable. And yet, we have to go through undesirable circumstances to make things better.
No pain, no gain. No cross, no crown. No wilderness, no Promised Land. No rain, no reign.
It makes me think about the Children of Israel.
When they were enslaved under cruel Egyptian masters, they undoubtedly wanted to be free. In Exodus 3:7, God said His chosen people were crying out because of the mistreatment they were enduring.
His people were suffering.
So the Lord sent Moses to release them.
In order to break free, however, the Israelites had to leave Egypt behind and walk through miles and miles of desert, without the kind of food they had grown accustomed to.
The transition was hard.
Of course, being brutalized and enslaved was hard too. Without God’s hand intervening, they would have most certainly remained in bondage forever.
If they didn’t want to accept indefinite servitude, they had to deal with the temporary discomfort of treading through the wilderness until they reached the “land flowing with milk and honey”.
Sometimes, even Egypt looked appealing on Israel’s hungriest and thirstiest days.
In Exodus 16:3, while feeling frustrated and disillusioned with their “limited menu options,” they complained to Moses and Aaron. "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death” they said.
They looked back at the lesser on their way to greater, because they didn’t know how to deal with the in-between.
Have you ever felt like that—as if you were stuck between desolation and destiny? Were you at one time aggravated by the meantime experience?
Perhaps you’re there right now.
If so, I want to tell you something: the journey is worth it. The sacrifices, tears and work it takes to step into your season of better are not in vain.
You may be studying hard in college, striving to earn that degree; fighting for a relationship you know God ordained that is currently going through a rough patch; working more than one job to make ends meet; pushing through the pain of exercise and making the sacrifice of healthy eating to take better care of your body; releasing a long-held offense and forgiving someone who did you wrong so you can experience God’s best for your life; waiting and praising on the other side of a closed door, believing God to open it.
If you are currently trusting God for better, while things around you seem to be getting worse, don’t give into discouragement.
Walk through this trial, knowing that, on the other side, He indeed has more for you.
As long as you walk in obedience to His will, even when He carries you through a dry place, you will come out victorious.
But as the saying goes, you have to go through to get to.
2 Timothy 2:12 lets us know that we must suffer with Christ in order to reign with Him. So don’t retreat from life and throw in the towel because it challenges you.
Don’t settle for worse, because you’re afraid of what it takes to have better. March forward in faith. Trust God to bring you up out of this low place, no matter how slow and arduous the climb.
He will never leave you. He won’t forsake you.
To help you remember this truth, I’m stirring one of my many favorite encouraging scriptures into your cup of inspiration. This one is found in Isaiah 41:10 ESV, which says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, know that this is not the end. You will bear fruit in your life if you remain connected to Jesus Christ, the true vine (John 15).
Apart from Him, you can do nothing.
Through Him, all things are possible--even the betterment of the worst circumstances.
Better is on the way!
Now let’s pray.
God, I thank You that better is coming. Despite what it looks like right now and how difficult things are, I know You have a good plan for my life. Even when my world feels like it’s falling apart, I trust that You will cause all things to work together for my good at the appointed time. In the meantime, I anticipate great things and I praise You in advance for them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with you. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.