My fingers curled over the end of the arm rest of the chair in the dentist’s office. I held on for dear life, gripping until my knuckles looked like small snow capped mountains.
“Five, four, three, two, one – done,” the dentist’s calm voice repeatedly kept me focused and relieved. Getting a cavity filled is not on my list of top one hundred (or one thousand) favorite things to do. It stresses me out -- the burring and whirring sound of the drill, the pushing and pulling, and the rinsing and sucking. Yuck!
I know that I sound like a chicken. I am. I really am scared in the dentist chair, but the key for me was the “five, four, three, two, one.” As long as the dentist, the one in control of what is happening, finishes each drilling episode with the countdown, I do much better.
As I recovered from the trip to the dentist and my numb face thawed out, I began to think, “Oh! How I wish that I could hear a countdown from time to time in life. A “five, four, three, two, one – done!” and I would be out of the hot seat and on my way.”
The problem is that we usually don’t know the duration of any difficult, of any sort. It’s more like, “five, four, three, two, one …. Wait.”
We try to hold on to dear life (like I did in the dentist chair) hoping that we can handle the next minute, hour or day. We tighten and brace ourselves with fear and worry. We hear and feel the burring and whirring and it is overwhelming.
Truth is, life can be difficult and painful, but we need to white knuckle our way through it. As we walk close to God, we can then be aware of His presence and His provision. We can grip on to His loving hand and hold fast to Him, rather than our circumstances. We don't need a countdown, we just need to remember that He is the One who is ever-present, ever-loving and helps us in all things.
And I don’t know how He does it, but He does – He brings us peace. Our circumstances may not change, but in the midst of them, we can rest with Him. We can begin to experience a calm, as we hear His calm voice, reassuring us not so much that it is almost over, but more so of His promises and that we have Him, and He is truly all we need.
All said, I'm a total "work in progress" on this issue. I fear things big and little time and time again. I try not to worry, but I do. I try to look to God and trust, but I struggle with what does that look like and guilt over not doing it very well. I desire to be calm, but sometimes I am a mess. I want to believe that He is all I need, but I fall short and find holes in my faith. One day at a time ... I trust that He is at work in me and in you.