This is a letter to one of my granddaughters -- Kayla.
My Dear Little Lamb,
What happened to your teeth? Your grandma told me that some of your teeth are not cooperating with your mouth, and the dentist had to commit surgery on you. Did he take all your chompers out or did he leave you some so you could still eat apples and carrots?
Oh, your grandma just said that four teeth were ripped right out of ... oops. Grandma told me to be nice. So I'll try it again.
Your grandma just told me that four teeth were extracted. (Grandma said that sounded better. I have to be nice sometimes so grandma will stay married to me for 52 more years.)
Before I finish this note to you, Kayla, I want to call you to see if you can still talk.
This is an abbreviated transcription of a real phone call.
"Hey, little Lamb. Is that you?"
"Yes, Grampa. [Giggling] It's really me!"
"I'm glad you can talk."
"I can always talk!" [Her momma laughed in the background.]
"Why did the dentist take teeth out of your face?"
"From my mouth -- not my face."
"Okay, but why?"
"My forever teeth, uh, permanent ones, weren't able to push the baby teeth out. And the permanent ones would come in crooked."
"Did it hurt when they were taken out?"
"A little, but not much. The dentist put some stuff on my gums to make it not hurt. It hurts a little now, but that's okay."
"You're a big girl."
"Hey, I'm your Lamb!"
"That's right, and I won't ever forget it. So, are you thankful for anything about all of this?"
"I'm thankful that I will get braces to fix the teeth some more. And I'm thankful that it didn't really hurt that much."
"Momma said that we all have to be thankful because it makes everybody happier."
"Thank you for catching me up on what's going on. Let me talk with your momma."
"I love you, Grampa. Bye."
"I love you, too, Little Lamb. Bye for now."
Back to the letter.
Wow! Your fast-talking pace hasn't slowed down at all. I'm surprised that you were able to talk on the phone with me, but I'm glad because trying to have a discussion by email is a little difficult.
Well, I'll close for now. I look forward to seeing you again when Grandma and I get down to Texas. Tell my Kitten, Bunny, Puppy, and Fawn that I love them, too.
And I love you, Lamb
Oh, you readers need to know who the other animals are. Kitten is Hannah, Bunny is Serena, Puppy is Joshua and Fawn is Karen. And, of course, I am the Grand Goat.
Did you pick up on Kayla's happy attitude? The fact of going to the dentist, losing teeth, or even of experiencing pain didn't get her down. She is actually thankful for the ordeal because good will come of it.
That is a direct experiential application in the life of a 9-year-old girl of Romans 8:28 which says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (NLT)
Kayla could look past the pain and see the joy that awaited her; and that is exactly what a thankful person does. Someone who is thankful does not dwell on the negative; does not grumble or complain; does not meditate on "why did this happen to me?" A thankful person is able to look past the darkness to see the light.
And that is what Jesus did for us. Going through the hell of crucifixion, Jesus looked past the darkness of excruciating pain and death, and saw the glorious light of resurrection and of gaining a Bride -- the Church -- and everyone who is living to honor Jesus Christ is part of that Bride.
Are you experiencing pain, discouragement, disillusionment, rejection? Is there a barrier blocking your vision of the joy that Jesus wants you to have? Take a hint from my little Lamb. Looking into the future, Kayla said, "It hurt a little, but that's okay."
With God's help, you, too, can become a thankful person; one who can understand that good can accompany sorrow and disappointment.
May the Lord help you to see His plan for your life, and may you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day.
• • •
Gene Linzey is a speaker, author and mentor. Send comments and questions to email@example.com. Visit his web site at www.genelinzey.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.Religion on 11/28/2018
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