Extra from Volume 8#2 by Joanna W.

I entered the cold, unwelcoming room with a feeling of dread rising from my stomach. "It's ok Joanna," I tried to get a handle on myself. "You've been here many times before."

Cold, shiny metal gleamed at me from various parts of of the room. The hard, uncomfortable bed, the huge x-ray machine, the cabinets full of small, sharp tools.

The dentist's big smile did nothing to ease my stomach.

"Hello, well, just lie right here."

I lay down stiffly and opened my mouth as he pulled the light over my face.

It was the third time I'd been to the dentist in a period of two weeks. I had a horrible cavity that had been filled years ago, and it was giving me trouble again. So, after he checked it he told me a root canal would be the way to go.

Root canal! Just the words were chilling. But that wasn't all. He was an elderly gentleman and tired easily so he planned for me to come in increments. About three or four visits should do it. Three or four visits!

So here I was prepared for the pain. As I lay on my back with the light glaring in my eyes, I started at the ceiling and mentally clenched my teeth. I glanced over as he readied the needle. "Oh God, I can't handle this part." I continued to mentally pray as he prepared for this operation. "Lord, please help me. I can't handle this without You." I could feel dental phobia rising. "God, please be with me. Comfort me."

Then the dentist brought out a large square of green plastic which he popped onto the designated tooth and strapped down with a band of metal.

"How much longer is this going to last? I can't stand it!" With my mouth strapped open and my head forced back I was very uncomfortable indeed. "Hopefully it's not too much longer now," I thought, just in time to see his big smile over me and catch the words,

"Okay now, you just hold still and I'll be back in a few minutes."

I nodded mutely. I have to wonder "Will it be fifteen this time or twenty?"

Whatever it was to be I resigned myself to it, clenching the arm rests and staring at the bare ceiling. Gradually I became really aware of myself and my surroundings. "Joanna, people have been through way worse. People have endured untold suffering. This is nothing! Just get through each minute, and you'll be fine." Faintly I could hear Oldies music playing on the little portable in the corner.

"Please God, give me something. Some Scripture to get me through this."

I could hear the dentist’s voice droning a couple rooms away, talking to his hygienist. Then softly, quietly like a sweet mist over my soul, came the words of Isaiah 40:28-31, which is now my favorite passage of Scripture, and has become a theme for my life.

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

I closed my eyes and reflected on the awesomeness of our Lord. How truly kind, how truly caring He is to us! The amazing thing about this was that I had never actually memorized this passage, but the words flowed one after the other effortlessly. It was one of those passages I had read many times and pondered deeply over, but I had not known I knew it well. I believe GOd gave it to me for that moment.

Needless to say, my stomach relaxed and the remainder of the operation proceeded swiftly (even though this tie his "few minutes" were at least thirty).

This is a moment of my life when God was so faithful in one of those little things. This wasn’t some big orphanage getting needed money on a deadline, or a missionary somewhere trusting God to provide for his next meal. It was one of those little moments when God displayed a big of Himself again, let me get another glimpse of His power and kindness. Praises be to Him forevermore!