God can be our source of relief

Published 6:04pm Friday, January 13, 2012

By REV. JAMES SCARBOROUGH

Donalsonville Assembly of God

There are things that happened in my life only a short time ago from which I cannot recall many of the surrounding details, while there are other events that occurred months and even years ago in which I can recall with vivid clarity how they transpired. I am being reminded of one of those in the latter category today; the source of that reminder is that unwelcome visitor known as tooth pain.

I have traveled Highway 27 north out of Bainbridge many times, but one of those trips is firmly planted in my mind. About six years ago, while on the way to attend to a hospice patient, I did not want to take time to stop and eat my meal, so I did so as I drove up the highway.

As a very busy hospice chaplain, I had learned how to balance a plate of food in my hands and hold the steering wheel at the same time. So it was, on that memorable day. Fried deer steak was among the other things on the plate of leftovers from the previous evening that my wife had fixed for me. As I traveled along enjoying my food, without warning, my jaw teeth clamped down on a rock hard foreign object hidden inside the steak. When I heard the cracking and shattering that was taking place in my mouth, I knew I was in trouble. But as it turned out, it was not as much trouble as I had feared — at least not at the moment. The bone that I had unknowingly bitten into had broken, instead of my teeth. I escaped with a chipped tooth and was able to go on with my original plan.

I have made it alright with that chipped tooth up until the past few days. Now it is becoming increasingly bothersome. Not overbearing pain, but enough to be uncomfortable. What I seemed to have escaped without consequences years back now seems to be plaguing me. And if the pain increases, it is not very comforting knowing that the dentist that I use is two hours away. (Interestingly, a local dentist lives half a mile away on the same street that I live on; I understand that he does remarkable work, so if things get too rough I might have to introduce myself to him as one of his neighbors in need.)

Not only do physical mishaps sometimes result in lingering effects, but pain inflicted upon our lives emotionally can reemerge long after the initial event. Nevertheless, we can rest assured that God is concerned about whatever affects the lives of His children and He is willing and able to deal with whatever troubles us.

We should all pay careful and thankful attention to Christ’s invitation in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light” (New International Version).

While I am not sure what I will do about my achy tooth, I am grateful for the promise that we have that we can look to God to bring help and peace to our broken hearts and bruised emotions.

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