I have to apologize that I haven’t been on to blog much this week. Things have been… well, a little extraordinary. It started Wednesday, I was hosting Bible study at my house and we were just finishing up when I got a call from the school. You know one of those mom moments when you see the caller ID and your heart drops to your stomach. It was the school nurse calling, my son was out at recess playing tag with his friends when he ran straight into one of the poles holding up the slide and chipped his two front teeth! Of course I left my daughter with my beloved sisters in Christ at the Bible study (who were already praying for the situation) and rushed over to the school to pick up my poor scared son. Now in all this you need to know that we don’t have dental insurance, or a regular dentist. So on my way to the school I called the local dentist’s office to see if they could fit him in right away and if they would be willing to work with us financially (especially since I had no idea how much it was going to cost to reconstruct two teeth). By the end of the phone call I was fairly certain that I wasn’t supposed to go there. (Not that there’s any thing wrong with them just I could tell it wasn’t God’s will.) Our phone call ended just as I was pulling into the school parking lot (thank You God for cell phones), turned off the truck and allowed myself to briefly dissolve into tears. My baby had been broken and I had been powerless to stop it or even comfort him after it happened. I was crushed. I pulled myself together and went into the school to collect my tearful boy. The secretary told me that when he first came into the nurse’s office he was so scared and shaken up, so she went in and prayed with him. Now I have to tell you that of all the spectacular things that happened this week this was the thing that touched my mother’s heart the most. That in those moments where my baby was hurt and frightened and most likely in absolute shock about what had just happened God had made sure that there would be someone there to comfort him in the best way anyone can be comforted, with the comforter Himself the Holy Spirit. Now you need to know that this is not a common practice in our school, but rather the secretary knows us and knows that praying with my son would be absolutely encouraged and not scorned as it would be in some schools. Anyway, I collected him from school, asking the secretary if she knew of a good dentist. She gave me a name but the office was really far away and I didn’t feel like that was the right place either. As Gabe and I walked out of the school holding hands I could feel him trying to be tough and hold back his tears, so I turned to him and said “Honey, it’s OK to cry, Mommy is already crying.” And we walked to the truck hand in hand sobbing the whole way. Just as we were buckling up to head back home I got a text from a friend of mine who used to be a dental hygienist. She had just walked past my house and one of the Bible study ladies noticed her and told her what had happened so that she could pray too. In her text she told me the name of the dentist that she takes her kids to, their phone number, and that she “would never take them anywhere else”. Finally something felt right! When we got home I called them and the receptionist was great, detailing a good estimate and willing to work with us to split up the payments too. But I was still unsure of going with them, you see at that point I was terrified of dentists and so I was doubting the Holy Spirit leading me there. But then the receptionist mentioned that they are normally closed for lunch at the time I called, but that day “just by chance” they were still behind the desk and answered the phone. That was all I needed to hear! This WAS God’s will!
We made an appointment for an hour later, dropped Anna off at the library with a friend so she could play instead of sit in a waiting room, and then headed over to the dentist office. On the way I called our church office to let them know what was going on so that they could pray for Gabe and our finances, a few short minutes later I got a call from my mother in law to check on Gabe and to let us know that they had been talking about giving Gabe some money for braces and that we could use it for this if we needed to. Answered prayer times two!!!
Now to help you better understand just how terrified of dentists I was, the last time I walked into a dentist office it wasn’t even for me, and I was still shaking like a leaf! When I walked into this office is was filled with such a tremendous sense of peace and calm that none of my old fears even came close to surfacing. God had gone before me and met me there, thank You Lord. They took Gabe back to get x-rays and fix his teeth and almost the entire time I was on the phone with people who were calling to check on him and let me know they were praying for us. When the battery on my phone ran out however, I was suddenly alone and the fear started creeping in. I started fervently praying for Gabe that God would be with him and that he would not be afraid of dentists like me (certainly not the first time I’ve prayed that). I do NOT want to pass my irrational fears onto my kids! I just kept praying over and over “Lord, please don’t let him be afraid” when God’s voice broke through my stream of pleas, “He was afraid when it happened, your prayers over the years asking Me to make sure that he wouldn’t be afraid like you, are being answered. The dentist is the one who is making the fear flee. I am acting through him to fix the things that were broken. He will never be afraid of dentists now.”
As we were driving home from the dentist’s office, were listening to our favorite Christian radio station and I was praying asking God what had caused the incident. I had just posted a salvation message the night before it happened, so did that mean that this was a counter attack from the Enemy? Was this a pruning lesson? Had I done something disobedient? What was the REASON behind my poor son’s pain? I was wracking my very exhausted brain trying to figure out what was going on. And then Laura Story’s song “Blessings” came on the radio and God said to me. “Does it really matter WHY it happened, or where it came from? It’s a blessing. Period.” And that was enough for me. So many times in our Christian lives we stress ourselves out trying to figure out WHY something “bad” happened, or how we could have avoided it. What we could have done differently, or should have done differently. We spend so much time trying to figure out where the pressure is coming from that we fail to realize that it ALL comes from God ultimately. Whether things come from His fingers or through His fingers, they all come from the potter’s hands. So why waste our time worrying about where they’re coming from and just realize that at some point we must yield to the pressure from the potter’s hands and do our best to learn whatever lesson God is trying to teach us, whatever the means and purpose is. I know that this is not a message that most people will agree with, and that’s fine. It’s just the message that God has given me to deliver, and it is my job to deliver it. Whether you accept it is between you and God. Right now, we live in a world filled with unspeakable horrors, does God allow them, or does He cause them? Really, in the end, does it make a difference? If it makes you feel better to think that He allows them, so be it. It makes me feel better knowing that He causes them. Why??? Because it proves to me, that HE is in complete control of the life that I have so lovingly given to Him to care for… mine. It helps me to know that when I’m facing a dark and difficult situation in my life, that it’s not because the Enemy is getting away with something that the Lord doesn’t know about, or has allowed him to do. But rather, I like to look to Isaiah 54:16-17 “‘See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from Me’ declares the LORD.” God created Satan to wreak havoc, it is his purpose on this earth to be the cause of our “bad” situations so that God can work His miracles through them. Light shines the brightest in the darkness. What would God’s goodness be if there was no evil through which it could shine? It’s a blessing. Period.