When the Bottom Starts to Fill Up


It has been one of the most trying Christmas seasons ever. In fact, it seemed like the bottom had dropped out of Christmas.

It started out with the sudden death of my brother-in-law, and an emergency trip to California. Upon our return, my wife got really sick, and didn't really start feeling better until after Christmas. She then shared her illness with my older son, who was sick from Christmas to New Year. We lost two of our baby birds in that Christmas/New Year's week, and just to round things off, we had a flood in our basement Christmas Day. We spent most of that day and the next cleaning up the mess. We then called the plumbing company to come and look at our sump pump that had malfunctioned. They replaced it on Wednesday, and we woke up Thursday morning to another flood! We had four floods in total before the day was out. And I haven't even mentioned the fact that one of my family members refuses to speak to me.

If we could have put all of our trials on a scale, I'm sure they might have measured at least 100 pounds! But none of this really got to us. Throughout all of these negative circumstances, we just kept on praising God and thanking Him, for throughout it all, we could feel His hand of comfort and His voice of reassurance carrying us through.

The reassurance came early one morning. During her devotional time, my wife received a clear message that our trials were over for the moment. You can believe that this message was especially welcomed with outstretched arms in our home! I was rejoicing and praising God that we'd finally had enough trials, when I was reminded of two unexpected and unwelcomed irritations that hadn't yet been resolved.

One was a mole on my left arm. While drying myself off a few days earlier, it had simply ripped off. For some reason it looked deformed. I remember thinking that it could have been developed into an unusual science experiment for my kids, but nah, it was oozing too much blood! I'd have to see the doctor about it. Quite naturally, being the holiday season, I wouldn't be able to get an appointment until the following week.

My second annoying aggravation came about following a routine trip to the dentist for a cleaning. When I got back home, I noticed that one of my top front teeth, on the left-hand side, was missing some of its enamel. The simple act of brushing in that area caused excruciating pain, so I avoided that area of my mouth completely. Now, I didn't mind this particularly, but I'm sure that others around me might have had something to say about it! Quite naturally, being the holiday season, I wouldn't be able to get an appointment with the dentist until after New Year!

So there I stood, with my deformed, blood mole and the unbrushable hole in my tooth, contemplating the Word God had sent through my wife that our trials were momentarily over. "I don't think so, Lord!" I muttered. "Did you forget my mole and my tooth?"

"Trust me!" Was the reassurance from God's Spirit.

So I did. I decided for once in my life to give up worrying and to start praising God for His provisions that are always so good, and as I did, I was filled with the conviction that the tooth would heal.

Despite my conviction however, as soon as New Year was over I headed to the phone to call the dentist. As I was about to dial the number, I heard God's voice speaking to me: "Hey! Where are you going? I told you that tooth would heal, remember? Go brush your teeth!"

"But, butů" I sputtered. "That's painful! Especially over the top left area of my . . ." But my conscience was starting to get to me, and my words changed slightly: ". . . Of my big mouth that perhaps I should just keep shut . . ."

"Trust me!"

I have never been disappointed when trusting God, so off I went to brush my teeth. Nevertheless, I was still amazed that brushing over the damaged area caused no pain whatsoever. "How could this be?" I wondered as I inspected my tooth. To my utter amazement, the hole had disappeared! Healthy enamel covered my entire tooth!

Now, I've read that enamel generally doesn't grow back on its own (What? You mean science fiction doesn't count?), but mine was obviously an exception. As I thought about this, these words came to my mind: "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." (Mark 10:27 NIV)

Now I only had my mole to take care of. In fact, we men try to ignore these kinds of things, and I hadn't looked at it for the past several days (Why should I? I prefer to watch at a good Star Trek show, wouldn't you?), and the next day found me patiently reading directions of how to use my new DVD burner while I impatiently waited in the doctor's waiting room. (Can you see the emphasis on "wait"?)

Finally my name was called. I hadn't seen my doctor in several months, and we spent the first few minutes catching up on family news. Finally I divulged the real reason for my visit: my bloody mole (no I am not swearing here, it had indeed been bloody for days!). As I removed my shirt, the doctor examined my entire left arm. Finally she asked, "Where is it?"

Was my mole so badly transformed that it couldn't be recognized as a mole any longer? I craned my neck to see the bloody spot, but to my utter astonishment, I found out that it was completely gone! Zapped! Vamos! Disappeared! I was still turning my arm in all kinds of odd positions, when the doctor smiled.

"I can assure you it was there!" I cried.

"I believe you," she answered. "Do you see that tiny spot? That must have been where your mole was. For some reason it fell off. You probably brushed it off without knowing it."

I didn't want to contradict her, as I had avoided touching that part of my body for days, but reality was setting in: My trials had indeed been over, but I hadn't even known it.

God's Word is always true. When I received God's confirmation that our trials were over, I shouldn't have doubted. I shouldn't have examined my tooth in the mirror while mumbling, "Lord, what about the painful hole in my tooth?" I shouldn't have rolled up my left sleeve to stare at the ugly looking deformed comet-like mole and said, "And what about this ugly thing?"

God patiently taught me a most important lesson that day: "Trust me!" And then He turned around and proved Himself trustworthy. Instead of the bottom falling out of our Christmas holidays, the bottom had "filled up"!

If God gives you a promise, you can be assured that it will come through. I enjoy reading His love letters to me contained in the Bible. Every day while meditating over His Scriptures, I receive messages from the One who cares for me, and these messages prepare me for upcoming events. It doesn't matter how hopeless the situation looks. If you rely on God and listen to His guidance, He will get you through ever time! This is His promise! After all, doesn't He tell us to: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Math 11:28 NIV)?

I am aware that other storms will be brewing in my nearby horizons, but I have nothing to fear, as long as I hang on to Jesus and trust in Him: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (John 14:1 NIV); and "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord." (James 1:5-7 NIV)

Do you believe God can solve your problems?

P. S. If you find a mole lying around somewhere, it must be mine. Don't bother sending it back to me. I really don't need it any longer!

Rob Chaffart

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