Thankful in All Things

The sound of a dentist’s drill is the most frightening sound to me. Right up there with the sound of a velociraptor breathing down my neck.

Thanks to family genes, my teeth tend to fall apart. Recently, I found myself in the dentist’s chair to repair a broken molar.

Dr. Castro had discovered a cavity that need to be removed. Wait – a cavity is a hole. How do you remove a hole? I thought you just filled it.

Well, anyway, I sat in the chair with my head lower than my feet so the doc could access the errant tooth. And the longer I sat there – or hung there – the more he drilled and the more it hurt.

All I could think was, “Please, God, not a root canal. Those are so expensive and I have too much to do to spend hours in this chair.”

The prognosis was that a crown would be the appropriate repair. That sounded simple enough and would only involve a little more drilling and then a filling.

But the tooth was more damaged than we originally thought and he kept digging and digging. After three rounds of anesthesia, the tooth was still sensitive. Every time that drill came near the nerve, I tensed and jumped. At each twitch, the dentist took a deep breath and told me, repeatedly, to hold still.

So I started to pray. “God, make it stop. Make it stop. It hurts so much. Don’t let him keep drilling.”

Then I remembered all the horrible things I’ve lived through – childhood abuse, molestation, failed marriage, and widowhood to name a few. After all, they don’t call me the Queen of Resilience for nothing! I realized that God knew how long all those experiences would last. Instead of stopping them early, he helped me to get through each one and learn from all of them.

So my prayer changed to, “God, help me through this. It hurts, but you can help me endure the pain. Please hold my hand as long as it lasts.”

And you know what? The pain lessened. I’m not saying that the sound of the drill wasn’t as obnoxious or that it didn’t hurt. But I could relax and sit still through the pain.

That’s how God wants us to live. Sit still through whatever pain we have to endure.

Hillsong United has recorded a song called “Highlands,” which says, in part:

I will praise You on the mountain,

And I will praise You when the mountain’s in my way.

You’re the summit where my feet are

So I will praise you in the valleys all the same.

No less God within the shadows,

No less faithful when the night leads me astray.

You’re the heaven where my heart is

In the highlands and the heartache all the same.[1]

We can learn to praise God whether we’re on top of the mountain and everything is going great or we’re in the valley where we’re hurting and see no way out.

Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.” So let’s praise Him no matter what. And thank Him for helping us get through.

[1] Songwriters: Benjamin William Hastings, Joel Timothy Houston