The post-it note was placed on my pillow. I didn’t find it until hours later as I crawled into bed for the night. It read: “Mom, I am sad a lot because you told me tooth fairies are not real, but you are right and I still love you.” The back said, “Goodnight“, followed by several sad faces.😢 Oh, my sweet girl. It both hurt my heart a little and made me chuckle. Earlier that day evening Ashlyn, my youngest daughter, who was in first grade at the time, had asked for the truth….is the tooth fairy real? I remember looking at her and asking, “are you sure you want the truth?” Sometimes what we think we want and what we actually want are two very different things. Like, I think I want to eat healthy, but I want bread, desserts and Cheese-Itz more.😜 That is my reality.
After reassuring me she needed to know the truth, I informed her that I was the mysterious tooth fairy, which is why, on occasion, money was delayed in its arrival. Turns out the tooth fairy is tired at the end of the day, and forgetful. I could see her face fall a bit with this new reality, one she already knew deep down, but longed to keep the magic alive.
We both hurt that night. She would no longer wait with anticipation for dollar bills to magically appear under her pillow. My little girl was growing up. Growing doesn’t occur without some pain.
While we know the truth sets us free, we don’t always want to be freed from our cages; those things, behaviors, beliefs, and opinions that falsely make us feel safe, but just trap us. There is no real growth when we choose to stay incarcerated by sin, and yet, the truth can seem more painful than the lie. When we choose the lie, our growth is stunted.
There was an invalid that Jesus encountered along His journey. He had been disabled for 38 years. Jesus question to Him probed at the truth of the matter, “Do you want to get well?” It implies that He had a choice in His health and well-being. What sick, injured, or disabled person wouldn’t choose to be rid of their pain and infirmity? On the surface, it seems a redundant question for Jesus to ask. But the truth is, many of us choose to stay emotionally and spiritually sick because we don’t want to face the truth. The sting of truth can cause us to shrink back and hide in the lie. We might say, yes of course we want to be well, even while choosing sickness for our souls. When we choose to ignore the Truth, it has physical effects. You can not separate the physical from the spiritual. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not insinuating that physical illness is always a result of poor choices, but rather, there are times we choose what is spiritually and emotionally unhealthy for our souls. Its easier to grab junk food than health food, but there are long term effects of eating junk food.
God has been opening my eyes to some truth over this past year with all the political hype around our nation. He’s been asking me, “do you want to be well?” My honest answer, yes and no. You see, I have strong opinions about our nation, politicians, policies…etc. Opinions are deeply rooted inside of me. I’ve had to bite my tongue, my lip, my cheek, you get the idea, to keep from spewing verbal judo all over social media. Ouch, my mouth hurts. Lol. It’s worth the pain though because I don’t want my way on this earth, I want His. It’s not for my kingdom. It’s all for His kingdom to come and His will to be done. This doesn’t mean I stop having opinions; just filter them through His word. I want to be well, so I’ve taken all my internal angst to Jesus, and asked Him to give me His perspective; so much healthier than my own. It turns out much of the political ranting and raging I’ve been entertaining is nothing but spiritual junk food.
Here’s what I keep hearing: He is The Way, The Truth and The Life. If I want to live a balanced life in this politically tumultuous world, I must keep my eyes and heart focused on the One that offers truth and gives life. I realize that isn’t earth shattering information. It’s simple, but not easy. We so easily operate out of our feelings instead of the Holy Spirit. It’s hard to hear His promptings over the shrill accusations on both sides of the political aisle….but we MUST.
We must be still before Him, dig deep into His word, and live a life of surrender to our God. It’s how people are going to see Jesus…or not. There is a time to speak out, but first, we must listen. James 1:19 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…”. Why should we do this? He answers in verse 20, “because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” Human anger doesn’t produce what God is after. There is a time for righteous anger, but usually our anger is not righteous at all. It’s motivated by feelings, opinions, our own experience and things of this world. God does not care about our political preferences. We won’t be defined by our political persuasions in heaven. None of it will matter anymore. No republicans. No democrats. Just people. How glorious will that be?😀🙌👏👏👏
Friends, my encouragement to you is, don’t share angry posts without praying first. Don’t get caught up in the frenzy of emotions that well up inside of you when you see posts that are contrary to yours. Unplug from the smorgasbord of junk and seek Him first. Stop, look and listen. (If it works when kids cross the street, it can work for adults when posting.😉) STOP your fingers from clicking share. LOOK to Jesus and His word before responding. LISTEN to that inner voice, the Holy Spirit, encouraging you to love others to Him. Love won’t always translate into being a peace maker, just make sure it’s Him leading you. Let God judge. He’s way more qualified for that position than any of us….and don’t forget, we have an amazing defender, Jesus.
There is no politician that’s going to solve the worlds problems. The tooth fairy doesn’t exist anymore than the perfect politician does. Obama was no more perfect than Trump, and vice versa. They are just men, created by God, who are in need of a savior. So, let’s not kick them to the curb or put them on a pedestal. There is only One who saves and that is Jesus. By the way, He loves Obama and Trump equally, whether or not they love Him in return.
In my attempt to follow The Way toward His truth, He has prompted me to keep my eyes on myself…kind of like, keep your hands to yourself. (We learn important lessons as kids.😉). Every time I feel tempted to unleash the wrath of self righteousness on FB, God pokes my heart and asks how I’m doing personally in furthering His kingdom. How am I loving my spouse and my kids? How am I loving those that are hard to love? How am I overcoming obstacles by His grace? When we keep looking in the mirror rather than wagging our fingers at others for all of their wrongdoings, we can actually see life change. We can be world changers for Jesus as we take responsibility for doing our part in this world.
Since I’m already sprinkling Truth-fairy dust today, might as well dust off the lie of shame too. I’ve witnessed a multitude of posts shaming one another; primarily between my Christian friends. It sounds something like this, “You ought to be ashamed of yourselves for voting for 👤(fill in your own blank)….or for agreeing with such and such policies.” Really? What does God say about shame? Look at Romans 8 as a guide. There is no condemnation in Jesus my friends, so please, stop, look and listen before you click post. Jesus is clear that everyone will know we are His disciples by how we have love for each other, not how politically correct we are. The world is watching. Let love reign.
What Truth are you struggling with embracing? Are you choosing to be well or have you been binge eating spiritual junk food for the soul? It feels easy there, believing what you want and what comes naturally. Junk food tastes and feels good in the moment, but causes truth decay. We lose our spiritual strength when we fill up on junk. Fill up on His truth in His word. He will help you change from natural instincts to supernatural strength! God asks us to do what we can not do on our own strength, so He gets the glory. We will grow stronger and experience more freedom as we become more proficient Truth seekers. Stop, look, and listen. He will set you free. We can do ALL things through Him!🙏🙌
John 14:6~Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Matt.6:33~ But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
John 8:33~Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 13:35~By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.