I was unsure how it was still in his mouth, a month after the wiggliest tooth EVER was carefully hidden away from my prying fingers. Drake is not a tooth-puller by nature. He’s more of a tooth-wiggler. It’s a fact that drives me crazy.
It was evident that today was the day, ready or not. There was little keeping that small pearl attached to my 9 year old son, and as much as he honestly did want to get it out, he was held back by fear. To me this seemed like such a small thing. I wanted to yell at him and say, “Really? Suck it up, Buddy.” But I didn’t. God knew what he was doing and He wanted to use this tooth to deeply root a new thing into Drake that had nothing to do with new teeth. I needed to stand back and let God work on this Himself.
It’s the wiggly moments in our lives that get our attention. For Drake, it was his tooth. For me? Well I didn’t even want to admit how many moments lately I’ve had that felt like my footing was off and I was wobbling all over the place. Drake’s tooth was as big to him as my own issues and struggles. God knew that, and he heard him. God listened and he showed up. Somehow, I managed to keep out of the way and yet to be used a bit in this process. It’s an honor to see God working His faith seeds into sprouting seedlings.
“Mommy, don’t help pull my tooth yet!” Drake said as he backed up and leapt across the room. All I’d done was attempt to wiggle it, not pull it. Hands up in surrender, I promised I wasn’t going to touch him, but tried to gently ask why not. “Because I haven’t gotten my braveness from God yet.”
Curious, I prodded a bit and asked what he meant. He’d been praying for courage and braveness for a while, and he sadly looked at me and said that God hadn’t come through and hadn’t showed up with it yet. Oh. Yeah, I get that feeling sometimes too. But Drake hadn’t learned the secret to strength and braveness yet…
“Drake, God doesn’t show up with a package called BRAVE and suddenly you feel strong. Instead you have to believe that God will be there in the scariest moments in life, armed with the braveness and strength you need; ready to give it to you when the courage you have runs out. Then you have to go do the hard thing before you feel ready sometimes. Knowing He’ll be there, every time you need him, that’s called faith.”
He nodded to me and squeezed his eyes shut hard and prayed one more time for braveness. He braced himself with tears in his eyes ready to spill over. With one small tug at the tiny tooth, it was out. His yelp turned to giggles and his tears of fear turned to ones of surprise and joy. I held out the tooth to him and he excitedly shouted, “He showed up!! He came! God came with my BRAVE!”
This past weekend Drake was baptized in the cool waters of Pleasant Lake with the family of Mt Zion watching and praying. He’d been nervous because he was afraid of slipping and going under when it wasn’t time. He swims like a fish, but this really worried him… He looked at me on Saturday night before bed and said, “But God will come with my brave when I’m in the water. I wish He’d come early, though, just this once!”
Yes Drake, I think we’ve all wished we could have God show up early with what we needed, just this once.