MY BRACES DIDN’T WORK
My braces didn’t work. Just look at my teeth. They’re all over the map – well, my mouth, that is. When I was a little girl, the dentist told me to sit in front of the television with my fingers pressed really hard on my front teeth to push them in. You can imagine how much good that did – aside from giving me some television time. Then, I actually cried when the orthodontist told me I needed “full mouth braces.” Then came the headgear – OUCH! Talk about pain. Those were the days. The funny thing is, decades later now, I have started to think about those braces again – because of the spiritual lesson I have learned.
Why do we spend so much time trying to jam ourselves, and stuff, into “proper places” determined by the world around us – and sometimes determined by Satan himself? Why do we spend so much money, care, attention, focus, etc., trying to make ourselves look and sound different? Why do we look to other people to figure out how we feel we should look? Why do we live by the world’s standards, and find that we always fall short when we do? Why do we jam our lives into braces fashioned by the world only to realize at the end of the day that our lives were never intended to fit into the mold of the world?
There is a difference between braces for medical and health reasons, and the kind of braces I am speaking of. I am talking about all the decades I lived looking down on myself, and others, for not fitting the mold of the world. Do you know what happened after the braces, the headgear, and the retainers? I looked in the mirror one day some years later and thought, WOW! Why did I ever get braces? My teeth have a life of their own.
The funny thing is that my life is much the same way. After all the years of being all too aware of how I’m not like everyone else, I finally get it. I was never meant to be. I was meant to grow in the image of God. If beauty truly is in the “eye of the beholder,” then whose eyes I am looking at myself through? Am I living a life trying to look beautiful to the world, or do I seek to live a life beautiful in the eyes of the Lord who created me.
Today, as best I can, I am learning to be yoked to Jesus Christ and not to the world. I am doing my best to live my life for my Father in heaven, and not for others nor for myself. I am no longer trying to squeeze my life into painful braces fashioned by the world, but instead learning how to live in the freedom of knowing I am designed to look and act like my Father in heaven rather than the world around me.
I need to be careful about looking in the mirror today; how about you? Instead of look in the mirror today, why not look to the Word of the Lord? Why not aspire to live according to the Bible rather than what the world asks, and demands, and desires from me?
Lord, I look to you. No more braces, Lord. I look to you. I would like to be the woman of God you created me to be. Like Father, like daughter, right? I was not born to look like the world. I was born to grow in your image. I love you, Lord, and I ask right now that you help me to continue to grow as you desire – and to be a daughter you are truly proud of (all-over-the-map teeth and all!)
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Today’s devotional was led by the Lord & inspired by a quick peek I took at the work of Shelly Hitz, author of “Teen Devotionsals……for Girls! (True Beauty Books)” and a whole lot more. You can check her out at https://www.facebook.com/shelleyhitzauthor, and she’s got plenty of books sold on Amazon if you want to look her up there!