Work in progress

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:13 NIV

I’m not a fan of going to the dentist, but it’s necessary. I went in for my routine semi-annual cleaning this week and forgot again to take some pain reliever in preparation for the poking, scraping and having to hold my mouth wide open for an extended period of time while my hygienist and then my dentist both do what is needed to ensure I have had a thorough checkup. I had a lot of work done in my mouth over the years-fillings, crowns, root canals. So it was no surprise to me to hear my dentist inspect and update me on the current condition of 2 of my back molars that we have been “watching” for the past 2 cleanings, are not in good shape and will require that I get a crown and a new filling. As you can imagine, I was less than enthusiastic to hear this. But honestly, I was not surprised. We are human. We are not built to last. Our muscles, our bones, our minds, our bodily functions, are going to begin to show signs of “wear and tear” in one form or another as we endure this life. Whatever we choose to make our habits, good and bad, will affect how we are able to function long term. So, as I listened to the hygienist tell me what I can do to improve my dental health, I realized once again I have a choice to make here: I can take what I’ve been told and put it into practice -or- I can continue at the same pace. I tell people all the time, in every job I have been blessed to occupy, that there is always something to learn. None of us is perfect, we claim to be experts in a given area, but the reality is if we are going to make it in this insane paced world of ours - we have to be flexible, adapt, change and grow with the changes as they come.

Sometimes, change comes and we are dead set against it, not moving, not doing it. We don’t want it, we like where we are and what we are doing because it has worked so well to this point, why fix something that isn’t broken-right? I could choose to keep doing what I have been doing to take care of my teeth-brush every day twice a day, floss occasionally; or, I could take what my hygienist said to heart and step up my flossing habits. The evidence of our habits speaks for us. My hygienist could tell that I brushed my teeth well, got high marks for that one. But, flossing on the other hand-the evidence was not for me, it was against me. Those back molars are tricky to get between, and the work she did during my cleaning resulted in removing some build up and also left my gums tender and bleeding slightly. Not a high mark for me on that one unfortunately. So, I have some additional work cut out for me to improve my dental health. I just wish I could avoid the reality that’s mine in a couple months, returning to get some additional work done.

As I made my way in to work after my dental cleaning, I came upon the scripture noted above in my morning devotional.

“Okay, seriously God? The last thing I feel like doing right now is thanking you and praising you. This dental work I have to have done is just one more thing to add to our budget with everything else we are trying to manage. I don’t know how we are going to do this, but somehow I have got to trust that You will make it work. Now, where is my pain reliever?”

This is where my spiritual habits cycle through. This is where I realize I have a choice to move forward, step outside of what my human nature would choose to do, and act out of my spiritual nature. I can only stretch, grow, learn and evolve in my spiritual nature if I choose it. If I take my current state of mind, what I learned up to this point in my walk with Christ and thought: “I’m good. I don’t need to go over that again. I can handle this from here with what I already know”, then I wouldn’t get very far. There is a point when we must reach for and cry out to God, again and again and again. Our need for Him never ceases. We are not good, ever. We are a mess, most of the time. We have good seasons and bad seasons in life, and in every single moment we must choose to thank Him and praise Him because of one simple truth: He gave us life! If you are living, breathing, existing then you have REASON to thank Him and praise Him! Your life may suck right now, but you are ALIVE. You may be in the most desperate of circumstances, but you are NOT ALONE. I can’t explain it, and I won’t even pretend to relate or understand anyone’s given situation today. But I believe and I know there is always HOPE IN CHRIST. For the person reading this right now who is in a helpless, hopeless state of mind-I cannot fix this for you, but I can pray for you! I believe God will make a way for you, because I have witnessed His miraculous provision for me and my family, and I have witnessed it in the lives of so many others. God created you for a PURPOSE you may not fully understand, but I know He has something good for you. Don’t give up, don’t give in to whatever is keeping you from embracing His deep love for you today.

You are a beautiful, unique creation, and whatever it is that you are facing today-MY GOD IS NOT DONE WITH YOU YET!

You are probably dealing with something a whole lot bigger than my dental health woes today. Just know that you are not alone, you are deeply loved and your life has great purpose! I’m praying for you and I believe God will take care of you.

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