Fillings | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
October 2014


By: Ti Chitsinde

“Then they prayed, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen’.” - Acts 1:24

My little sister is supposed is supposed to get dental work done during the holidays, so we’re asking people we know who have had prior experience with such things whom they would recommend we see.

Of all the stories we have heard, one stands out. John says that his molar hurt so terribly a couple of months back that he just wanted the tooth removed. He had gone to the dentist not to find out what was wrong with it but to just have it extracted and move on with life.

His dentist however insisted that she would not do anything till he knew what was wrong with the said tooth, and would not remove it until she was satisfied that nothing else could be done to address the issue. It is that dentist who is responsible for the title, Fillings. Having found the problem, she noted that a filling would deal with the issue sufficiently to make extraction unnecessary.

As I read Acts 1 as part of my prescribed reading, the narrative of Matthias’ appointment struck me as being very instructive on the use of fillings in life.

Imagine how hurt, disappointed and betrayed the 11 felt at the actions of Judas, how badly they were scarred by his selling out. That kind of pain makes a toothache pale in comparison, like a dripping tap next to the Victoria Falls.

Yet the disciples did not shrink into a shell and stew in their anger. Instead, they realised that the work was just beginning, and there needed to be a filling inserted into the gap to restore the peace and continue with the mission.

How they went about inserting the filling is the best part. They looked at the essential characteristics they needed: knowledge of Jesus’ ministry from baptism to resurrection and ascension, and made a shortlist of candidates. Then comes the clincher, they prayed to God, who knows the heart of everyone, to show them the right candidate to fill the gap.

How often have we in our anger, disappointment or hurt written off everyone for what one person has done to us? “I hate women!”, “All men are dogs!”, “Trust nobody but yourself!”. Sound familiar? How often have we in our rage shut everyone out? Demanded extraction where a filling would do... Maybe going forward we should embrace the disciples’ approach.

Acknowledge that what has been done is one person’s failing, make a checklist of what you want going forward, draw up a shortlist based on the checklist, and take that to God in prayer that He may show you the right option for you. Do your part, and trust God to do what is in your best interests.

Discussion Questions: Do you have a checklist of what you want going forward? What criteria are you using to make your choices? Do you take your options to God before making a decision?

See more devotions from Ti and our other Young Adult writers, or find our how you can become a writer yourself at our By Young Adults for Young Adults devotion page.