This is not my daughter, but this is us NOT fearing the dentist, or life! Photo Credit: Trisa Dental Solutions.

I’ll never forget the time I first noticed a dark spot on my youngest daughter’s tooth – the one that didn’t brush away. She wasn’t quite two years old at the time, and oh, how I panicked inside. I’d had friends deal with tooth decay in their very young children, and I knew their stories – ones that often involved anesthesia. I fretted about it for days until I was able to secure an appointment. Sure enough, it was tooth decay. And I would have another six weeks to suffer through before we could secure another appointment to treat it.

In our case, it was not serious enough to warrant anesthesia, so that was an enormous relief. But the thought of my tiny daughter having to face a dental procedure filled me with nothing but horror.

I was terrified.

The six weeks came and went, and aside from the odd temporarily lost child scenario, it was the most traumatic experience of my life to date. My toddler, who until then had known only gentleness and security, had to be wrapped tightly in order to be immobilised, and she screamed in fright through the entire procedure. They were the kind of screams that scar a mother’s soul, and I would have lain strapped to that chair and taken any amount of torture to make it stop for her. But I could only helplessly rub her little feet and try to console her. When it was mercifully over, she slept in my arms almost all day.

But she recovered. A day later, and you’d never have known it had happened.

She’s just turned three and I have learned that she will now need a little more dental work. And now I have another six weeks to suffer through as we wait.

I told my mother about it last night. The words were hard to say, because I still don’t understand how this can be happening. (I really have tried all along to do all the “right” things.) And my mother said quietly, “She’ll be okay.”

They were simple words, but are there any more powerful? They put tears into my eyes instantly. Sometimes you just need someone who has earned your trust over the years to tell you that it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of life, and that it’s going to be okay. Sometimes those words make everything okay.

It’s not that it’s going to be easy – it is going to be hard. But my daughter is going to be okay, and so am I.

The Bible, in Old Testament and New, is full of exhortations to “fear not.” It’s also entirely human to worry and be fearful. We face so many situations where it would take nerves of absolute steel – and perhaps some denial – to not worry. When you love someone deeply, it’s impossible not to ever worry about them, especially when they face challenging times or pain. There are situations that threaten our own survival. When you see things falling apart politically or socially, or people exploited and abused when you are for the most part powerless to help them, it’s natural to feel discontent and to worry about what it all means for life as we know it.

Obviously our Father knows this. I think what he wants for us is not to lose our lives to our worry. I think he especially wants us to fear not ultimately, because we are not alone in this life, and this life is not all there is for us. We have never been abandoned: he really is with us, and with every human. When Jesus took on human flesh, he willingly bonded himself and the Father and the Holy Spirit to humanity for always.

There is so much fear in our country and world currently. It’s nothing new really – it seems to have been this way throughout history more often than not.

But fear and evil never have and never will get the final word.

“Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.” Matthew 10:28, The Message translation.

The amazing news – absolutely shocking news according to our broken modes of justice – is that the God who indeed holds us, body and soul, in his hands, does not demand our fear as he could. Rather, he wills nothing but good for us – requiring nothing from us in return. It is his nature, and even our worst acts are not able to change it. Jesus came so we could leave behind our blindness and for the first time see the true face of God – his kindness, his benevolence, his swiftness to forgive every time, his refusal to judge and condemn, his faithfulness.

The bullies that threaten us are not just people who would hurt us, but cancer, tornadoes, economic turmoil, aging, corruption in all its forms – and so on. Some of these things may hurt us or take the lives of those we love, but their power is not eternal.

His is. We can’t see it yet, but he has already made everything okay. He has fixed every broken thing and healed every hurt. No person has escaped his loving eye or been denied his care.

I don’t know about you, but I long for a world where I no longer have to worry.

It’s coming.

In the end, it’s all going to be okay.

~ by Jeannine Buntrock




1 comment so far

  1. John on

    Thanks Jeannine
    Really enjoyed these personal experiences and can relate to them. Two scriptures that speak volumes to me and embrace your words are Isaiah 46:10, declaring the end from the beginning and 2 Timothy 1:9-10, that it was Jesus who revealed the goodness of the Father which was and always will be.

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