The last time I said those two words I was playing checkers with my husband and winning, taking all his territory. I have to brag a little because it’s the only game where I can beat him. So excuse me if I take my due.But that wasn’t today. No, today with sweaty palms and a heart working double time to pump fresh blood to fried nerves, I slinked into the dentist office where my senses were immediately slammed with the smell of all things antiseptic, mouthwashy and painful.
I find it interesting that all dental offices procure this same odor just as all new cars have a deliciously new car smell. The difference is, the wafting in of one brings an ahhh sigh, with pleasant memories attached. The other puts every nerve in my body on a code red high alert with adrenal glands in fight or flight mode.
My body now tilted back in a vulnerable position, with interrogation like lights shining into my face, and not feeling like much of a winner, I still was able to boldly proclaim, “Crown me!”
Having had a traumatic childhood dentistry experience I’ve been avoiding the inevitable for some time…years to be exact. This criminal tooth has been cracked for decades. As if to taunt me, the painful villain shows itself once a year for a week or so and then goes back into hiding. This time when the pain hung around for a month I knew it was time to face my fears. But how?
I’m giving a talk to a ladies group on peace next week and this situation was reeking havoc on mine. So I decided to take the advice I was giving (novel idea), the advice we get from the Great Physician.
Be thankful in all things for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18)….
This admittedly took some thought.
Root canals, screeching drills and the smell of rotten Fritos, have never ever conjured up thankful thoughts for me. But God is always right, so….that’s what I did
Thankful for pain?
Yes, I’m thankful for pain because it’s God’s way of alerting me that something is wrong. Pain says, listen up!
Is it possible to be thankful for needles and shots?
Yes. I’m thankful for Novocain which is used to deaden the nerves sending the pain to my tooth. I’m even more thankful for the gooey stuff they put on my gum to numb it to the needle.
Then there is the drill…thankful? Really?
Check. Without it I guess all cracked teeth would have to be extracted.
And I won’t lie,
I’m thankful for ant-anxiety drugs like, Xanax or Lorazapam, that help calm my frayed nerves and pounding heart.
And yes, I’m thankful for the patience of my skilled dentist who is a pro at dealing with neurotic patients like me.
My sister is also his patient and he says we’re a lot alike. Hmmm, I wonder what he means…
I’m thankful to God who teaches us to give thanks.
For our own good. Our own peace.
A small change in perspective can prepare us and give us strength.
This morning armed with much prayer, a thankful heart and oh yeah, the appropriate drugs, I was ready to go. I felt strong and courageous. And you know what I found?
It wasn’t that bad. Not bad at all.
I didn’t just receive a porcelain crown today, I received the promise of a crown far better than one that fits on a tooth or makes kings and queens on a checkers board. I received the promise of an imperishable crown. One that won’t crack and will last forever.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Looking forward, pressing on, seeking God.