My oldest son got up at 10 o'clock at night to come into the living room with "something important" to tell me. He was supposed to be asleep, and he was interrupting a conversation my husband and I were having. As he leaned toward me with his mouth open, I thought, "What in the world does this child need to tell me?!" With his mouth open, he awkwardly said, "Wiggle my tooth!" (which sounded more like "iggle eye oohh). He had been working on a tooth for a few days, and I thought maybe this one was finally about to give it up. So I reached into his mouth (if you are a mom of boys, you know the sacrifice and danger I was putting myself into) to wiggle his tooth. And nothing. It barely moved. And in my finest mothering moment, I told him it wasn't moving; it hadn't moved any more than it was moving earlier, and that he needed to just keep working at it. I then sent him to bed.
About 30 minutes later, I went to his room to check on him before I went to bed. And instead of an angelically sleeping child, I found a sniffling 6 year old. When I asked him what was wrong, he told me he was upset by what I told him about his tooth. A crack in my Super Mommy Armor could be heard for miles. Instead of encouraging my son in a moment of excitement for him, I let my frustrations get a hold of me, and I hurt his feelings.
A rush of memories flooded my head of all the times I was excited about something that I wasn't quite ready for yet. I remember conversations my parents had with me about not dating until I was 16; about having my first boy/girl party after years of girly sleepovers; about meeting the man of my dreams; about my first teaching experience, and the list went on and on. Then Ecclesiastes popped in my head. All of those times, and so many more, I was excited about something that I wasn't ready for. I remember having the same sadness my son was feeling when I was told "Not yet" by my parents, my friends, my professors, my God. Those times I rushed the "due date", I found that they were right. I should have waited. The other times I waited (not always patiently), I was rewarded with incredible results.
"Son," I said. "There is a time for everything." I then explained to him that if he forced that tooth loose too early, it could have adverse effects. God knew what he was doing by planning when each of them would come out. He just needed to keep working on the tooth and to be patient. It would come when it was ready, and he would soon be rewarded by a handsome adult tooth soon after.
See how awesome God is? Instead of dealing with me in frustration with the way that I initially handled my son, he gently reminded me that I, too, had moments where I wanted to rush things; where I wanted things to happen before they were ready. Ecclesiastes goes on to explain there is a time for healing, planting, building, laughing, crying, dancing, to be silent, and to speak. There simply is just a time for everything. If you try to rush the due date, you are only going to be more frustrated. Be patient and wiggle that tooth. Get yourself prepared for the moment when what you want actually happens. God is faithful in his promises and knows the perfect time for everything.