Tooth. Tooth. Tooth.

I’ve officially become wise. How do I know this? Is it from my campus ministries training? My theology classes? My recent conversations? Perhaps . . . but I know I’m becoming wise because my wisdom teeth are coming in.

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Actual x-ray of my teeth

They say that 1 in 4 people have their wisdom teeth come in sideways; it turns out the odds were in my favor. My senior year of high school, the dentist told me that I should get them out sooner rather than later. I chose later. Now, two years later, my back left wisdom teeth has erupted from my gums and it is painful. I now understand why babies cry all the time; this tooth is all I can think about! My tongue passes over my back teeth constantly. My thoughts basically consist of “Tooth, tooth, tooth, tooth, tooth.” It is almost impossible to think of anything else.

As I was sending out one of many emails today, I took a second to look at my signature. It includes my name and my favorite Bible verse which says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I’m not sure how familiar you are with this passage, so let me give you a little big of background. Paul was talking about how He able to boast in Christ and all the things that He is doing through him. But he writes “a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.” I imagine that this pain he felt in his side is a lot like the pain I’m feeling with my wisdom tooth. It consumes you. It’s all you think about. I’m sure all Paul thought was “Thorn. Thorn. Thorn. Thorn.”

But this is where God continues to work. God used that pain to remind Paul that He is sufficient through all weaknesses, physical and spiritual.

This has been an excellent reminder for me, especially as I’m about to lead my first praise and worship with my very own team. Perhaps the Lord is pushing my tooth through my gums at this time to remind me that I can’t do it all on my own. That I should change my thoughts from “Tooth. Tooth. Tooth. Tooth.” to “Grace. Grace. Grace. Grace.”

Grace is the reason why I’m here. It’s not because of anything I’ve done because I’ve made so many mistakes. I deserve nothing; in fact, I deserve a lot more pain than this tiny little tooth is giving me. But grace washed all of that away and I am made perfect in the eyes of Christ.

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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