Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
The comfy reclining chair, soft music, gentle dental assistant draping a paper bib over my chest. A formula for relaxation right?… NOT! Bright light beaming into my eyes, sharp things, buzzing things, gurgling things, grinding sounds, and cold water spraying into my face. I sit there lifeless, mouth wide open, and I don’t even think I’m blinking due to the trauma. Normally, I am a talker, but not at the dentist office. After all, what can I say? NOTHING… Nothing at all. All I can do is try to NOT choke.
I do get a moment to answer the question of the day, “Raspberry, Strawberry, Bubblegum, or Mint?” I think that’s the first time I actually take a breath.
I have to give credit to Dental Hygienists everywhere. It takes a special person to do your job. I have to wonder how many times a day you have to tell your stories? You have a captive audience for sure! We’re actually speechless! On the Godly Girlfriends Facebook page today I posted a challenge to give a stranger a compliment today as an act of kindness. So I thought my act of kindness would be a blog to appreciate our friends in the dental field who serve us.
Thank you for the work that you do. It’s a hard job, but a necessary one. I know you probably don’t get a pat on the back, a hug, or bundles of fan letters so I’ll be compliment you with a confession; my quality of life is better for knowing you. God bless you for the work that you do.
When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” (NIV)
I ran into a friend yesterday and in the moment decided to grab a spontaneous lunch. I had not talked with her in awhile so it was great to take the opportunity to catch up. We started with the usual question, but this time with well intended meaning, “How are you?” She immediately melted into tears.
I don’t know a woman alive who hasn’t experienced this situation. It amazes me how God puts people in your path at just the right time and those people are usually girlfriends, right? I had no idea (at the time) that she was anything but o.k. Upon our initial embrace she was smiling, her eyes were sparkling, she was genuinely grateful to see me and she looked happy. But that magic question, combined with a safe and honest environment, allowed her to stop the charade and let it all go.
What proceeded to come out of her mouth was a situation that I knew I could not fix. As my mind was striving to find the right words and the most comforting gestures, I found myself praying instead. I was praying that God would intervene. I prayed that God would be her comfort and be her source of peace; that he would love her and reveal Himself to her in and through these (horrible) circumstances that had her pouring out to me.
I didn’t have the right words to say and I most certainly didn’t have the answers that would make everything o.k. for her, but as we departed and she assured me that “she’d be fine.” I left with a sense of confidence that she really will be more than fine. I trust that God will work in and through her situation. I’ve been in her shoes where I have needed a friend, sounding board, confidant, and shoulder to cry on. It is true that no one and nothing can fix us when we’re broken, but it sure is a gift from God when we have someone to walk alongside of us in those times of need and as much as prayer doesn’t seem like enough, I know she is not alone.
“After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.” (NIV)
The time when Noah sends out the raven and the dove signifying he old nature (sin) and the new nature (saved). In chapter 7 when God brought the animals he brought clean and unclean; I never made that connection in the past. It is convicting to know that I have both natures within me and know I bounce between the two. Unintentionally of course, so that’s why I’m in God’s Word daily. To put on my armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) and prepare – to the best of my ability – for the battles I will face each day.
I once heard it said that the devil works overtime on the believer because if someone is not a believer, he already has them right where he wants them. In other words, I have a target on my back and when I walk out my door in the next 15 minutes he’s on the prowl to make me fall, discourage me, trip me up, and knock me down. Isn’t that an unsettling thought? I hope that motivates you to crack open your bible and put on your armor. It’s a war zone out there.
As I read Genesis chapter 8, I can’t help but grieve those who were destroyed in the flood. It is mentioned that the water receded so the mountain tops appeared. MOUNTAIN TOPS! That is a lot of water, that is a lot of deaths.
I understand it – I see why God did it, but I do think that as believers, we should be unsettled about it. I just can’t chalk it off as a victory for Noah and not take into account how many lives were lost because they chose death over life. Then I think about how many people I have in my life that don’t have a relationship with the Lord. Especially those who outright reject Him and look forward to the “party in hell and have fun getting there.” There is no party in hell – it’s HELL!
Pray with me:
Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for your word and the biblical examples you have given us. Not only to model after, but to learn from. I pray that you would guide me today in my words, thoughts, actions, and deeds. Father I especially pray for those who are living for and loving this world. Use me to speak truth, be Your light and share with them your generous love and eternal assurance. I pray for my friends and family, the people I love most, that they would receive your gift of eternal life. Please give them a hunger to know you and if not me, place people in their path who will tell them your truths. In Jesus Name, AMEN.
The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. (NIV)
I can still picture it. A boat with a bunch of cute little animals smiling, decorated in every pastel shade, with a rainbow. (Can’t forget the rainbow.) From my Sunday school classes and vacation bible school at the small Covenant Church in Marinette, Wisconsin, to the nursery I designed for our first daughter – Noah’s ark was among one of my favorite “stories” of the bible. Fast forward to today and I read the story of Noah in an entirely new way.
One of the first things that I am fascinated by is that God chose Noah and his family because they were found righteous. It’s hard for me to fathom that from the Garden of Eden until Noah lived to the ripe (young) age of 600, that sin dominated the earth. Can you imagine what it would have been like to be Noah? At least I get to plug into a bible study, call a girlfriend, listen to a “Focus on the Family” Podcast, or dial in to my favorite Christian artists on Christian Radio. Noah had to be one awesome spiritual leader for his family for all of them to have been found righteous with God. Way to go Noah!
I guess my take away from Genesis chapter 7 is that no matter how bad the world gets and how God keeps getting pushed out of our courtrooms, schools and public buildings, we have a much greater opportunity to remain connected, reminded, reassured, and confident in our relationship with God. We are so blessed.
Genesis 6:9 “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”
Noah walked with God, “By faith.”
Yesterday I began listening to the audio book “Approval Addiction” by Joyce Meyer. It really hit home. One of the quotes from the book is, “Are you worshiping God or are you worshiping your sin?”
CRAZY! I’m guilty. I have been reading God’s word to condemn myself of all the ways I fall short rather than accepting his grace, mercy, and love; by recognizing who HE is. Instead, I bury my head in grief over what a pathetic Christian I am and muddle in my misery. Right where the devil wants me! That blasted devil doesn’t want me rejoicing in a righteous God. He wants me to feel sorry for myself. He wants me to be a defeated lost soul who buys into the hopelessness of this world.
Today, I read the story of Noah in Genesis 6 and I praise God that I am of the seed of Abel and Noah and I am chosen. Undeservingly mind you, but still chosen.
Let’s not let the devil rob us of our victory over death or fall victim to the lies.