I took my youngest son to the dentist yesterday. Like most children, he does not like the idea of going to the dentist. He gets so scared of the idea, and it is hard for him to go. He is a good boy, tough and strong in many ways, but you can see the fear in his eyes. It hardly matters what reassurance I give him; I can see the fear. He does not throw a fit, but you can see the battle within him to be strong in the face of his intense anxiety.
As we were driving, I tried my best to comfort him and let him know it was not a big deal. It did not seem to help, but he mustered up the courage to get it over with. One of the things I shared with him helped me understand some of the hard things I face and the purpose for them. I told Ezra that he should see the dentist not as a bad thing he was going to have to experience but to see the dentist as a blessing.
He looked at me with a look that said, “Whatever, Dad, I am not buying that.”
He climbed up in the chair, laid back, and waited for the team to begin their work on his teeth. As he sat in that chair, his entire body revealed a nervous anxiety. His little hands searched for something to grab onto. His legs restlessly moved around. I let him know that it was going to be okay. He was trying to believe me, but it was hard for him.
Early before arriving at the dentist, I asked him if he wanted to go in the room with the dentist alone or with me. He quickly said, “Dad, I want you to be with me.” Once we were in the room and I saw his nervous activity, I touched his foot to let him know I was there. I asked him if he needed somewhere to rest his anxious hands, so I told him to put them in his pockets. He lay there (with the help of some nitrous oxide) as the dentist filled the cavity. After some time, the dentist finished, and he got out of the chair with a look that said, “I am so glad that is done; it was not as bad as I thought.” I let him know that he did a good job.
The entire time he was in the chair, the dentist kept telling him that He was a really good boy and was doing such a good job. As a parent, I truly appreciated the kindness being poured into my son. After we left, he told me he was the best dentist he had ever seen.
Sometimes in life, we have to face things that seem hard, and those things can create fear. I know that I am facing such battles. I am facing something that I do not like. I try to be strong, but my inward fear reveals itself through my expressions.
As I had offered a voice to my son to calm him in my moments of fear, God, my heavenly Father, offered His voice to me. He assures me that the difficulties of the moment are for my good. He tells me He will be with me in the “room.” He sees my nervousness and gives me a touch of affirmation. He notices my movements and offers me a place to rest my hands. Like the dental assistant who told Ezra to breathe deeply (for NO2), He tells me to breathe in His Spirit. He knows I must go through this hard thing for my good.
That is what we need to understand about the hard stuff we must go through. They are for our good. God, our Father, desires us to be like His Son. For that to be accomplished, we have to face the hard stuff. The hard things in life teach us to rely upon Him. They teach us that everything we experience, the good and the bad, is designed for a purpose. It is hard to know the purpose, but because we know we are loved, it has to be for our good.
Laying in the chair, it did not seem pleasant. Going through the hard things of life won’t seem pleasant, either. However, we will understand that it all worked out for a better purpose when we are through it.
You don’t have to pretend that you are not afraid. You will have fears, but God lets us know that when fear is gripping our hearts, we can trust Him. The Psalmist wrote, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee” (Psalms 56:3). In your moment of fear, trust Him. Trust Him by…
…Listening to His voice
…Knowing that He is with you
…Allowing His Spirit to fill and control you
…Believing that He is working to do something good in you for His glory.
After it is all said and done, you can walk away saying that God is such a good God. You will begin to understand that even the things that seem hard are a blessing from the Lord.