I have often said that I would rather have a baby than go to the dentist. But at 63, I may have to rethink that statement as I am exhausted after a full day with my two adorable grand kids let alone childbirth.
I have a deep seated, illogical fear of the dentist, tensing up and expecting the worse. So you can imagine the state I was in when I learned that I needed not only a crown but a root canal. My bowels were in an uproar, my mind muddled with a myriad of possible dental tortures and I wanted to retreat into an imaginary land where magic would make all this disappear.
But I wasn’t in an imaginary land and the ache in my mouth was real. It wouldn’t go away.
So there I was with the endodontist’s hand expertly rummaging in my mouth giving me injections to numb the area enough so that he could excavate the dying root. Outwardly, other than my hands clutching the arms of the chair, I appeared calm; but inwardly—
Whenever I find myself in a situation which causes me to panic and run for the hills, I rely on a few bible verses which I repeat over and over. I find that they help center me and focus on God rather than the expected and impending doom.
Psalm 91:4 “The Lord will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
Habakkuk 3:19 “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army.”
It took quite a few injections until I no longer felt anything but pressure. After about an hour, I realized I could relax. As I did so, I stopped saying my verses and thought “I’m good, God. I don’t need you now”. And as soon as I thought this, I felt an ache deep down in the gallows of my jaw causing me to jump! It was momentary but the dentist notice and paused, asking me if I was in pain. I signaled that I was ok. But I was not. The physical pain was gone but the emotional pain was not.
I knew that it wasn’t the dentist who had dug down deep, but God. In that split second I knew that God was showing me that in all times, in all ways, I needed Him. Not just in the scary times, but in every time. In that single thought I was being Goliath – puffed up with self-importance, thinking I needed only to depend on myself. In contrast, David relied on God knowing he was weak but that God would use his weakness to arm him with the confidence and assurance that only God can bring. For in his knowledge of his weakness, he knew that God would be strong – stronger than any Goliath of the land.
Sitting in the dentist chair, I was reminded that we are not smart enough, strong enough, fearless enough for this world, but God is. Our battles are the Lords and each battle can drive us to Christ. With Christ as our champion, He is always with us, facing the giants of our life – Even when it’s the dentist.
When did you depend only on yourself rather than on God? What made you realize that without Him you could not survive and thrive through it? Please share so that others might gain from your experience.