20th September 2012

Dental Dilemma

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.”
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

I can’t open my mouth very wide and when I do, I normally have to close it again within seconds because of the screaming ache in my jaw muscles. A real challenge for any dentist and a nightmare scenario for me facing the prospect of prolonged treatment on a dodgy back tooth.

I’d recently finished reading a short book about letting God be involved ‘in the small stuff of your life’, so I wondered if God would be interested in my tooth and my small mouth. “Why not?” I pondered, “He’s a loving Father and he cares about his children.”  1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.”  So I took my concerns to God in prayer:  “Father, I need some help please. My small mouth + screaming jaw muscles + big dental job = agony.”

A few hours later, I was still thinking about dental problems, when an idea popped into my head. Or was it put there for my benefit? The idea challenged me to spend the two weeks before the dental appointment practicing opening my mouth wide. Hardly a mind blowing idea, but if this was how God was helping me then I had to respond. I started, immediately, on my training programme. Sitting, relaxed, in my chair, I opened my mouth as wide as I could and began to time myself. I only managed 30 seconds before screaming jaw muscles quickly shut my mouth, but I persevered doing this exercise 3 to 4 times a day and after two weeks I was able to keep my mouth open for 3 minutes without any difficulty. What a result!

With all this training under my belt, I approached the dental treatment in a positive frame of mind. When the dentist asked me to ‘open wide’, I sent a rapid prayer to God. “Thank you. I know we can do this,” and ‘opened wide.’ No problem. No screaming jaw muscles. Dental treatment successful. Job done. I wanted to ‘High Five’ with my loving Father but had to be content with a huge grin. Well, half a grin, actually, because one side of my face was still numb, but I was definitely happy and I had lived the wisdom of the words of Proverbs 16:20, “Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust in the Lord will be happy.”

Loving Father, Please help us to believe that you really are interested in the small details of our lives, and help us to be willing to accept your involvement.

Study by Diana Hall

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