I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
He looked at her and said, “Root canal.” My dentist is my friend. For 21 years he has taken care of my family. He is a good man and a man of integrity. But with all that said, one day recently, he uttered the words that sends fear into every rational, sane person. Root canal. It all started on a Thursday. We were out of town and my wife Judy was munching on some pork rinds. For those not familiar with this example of fine southern cuisine, it is fried pork skin. Yes, I know and understand. Well, she finished her snack and put the bag away. Just about then it happened.
Without warning and really for no apparent reason unless you count the pork rinds, one of her teeth broke in half. We both couldn’t believe it but apparently this tooth was one she had had filled a long, long time ago and over time the filling had deteriorated, weakening the tooth. Now, hang on. From the get-go this thing was a God thing…you just had to look a little closer. We called our friend the dentist and made an appointment for when we got back in town. But here is the amazing part. She had absolutely no pain. The rule book says if you break a tooth, you hurt but God blessed and for the entire weekend, she had no pain whatsoever. Thank you, Lord.
Well, we got back into town, and she went to see our friend the dentist on Tuesday morning. At first it looked like a standard put a cap on it thing but then he took a closer look and realized that there was a pretty good chance that the repair would abscess and if it did…well, it wouldn’t be pretty. And that is when our friend the dentist said the words, “root canal.” Judy had had one of those when she was about ten and it was not a good experience. Root canals rank up there with being drawn and quartered. My friend the dentist always teases me when I go to get my teeth cleaned. He would smile and ask, “Need a root canal today?”
Anyway, his office referred us to a place in Paducah, Kentucky and believe it or not they had an opening that very day. Obviously, someone had chickened out. We made the appointment and then made our way to Paducah. She got there and of course was just a little apprehensive, but the bottom line is this…in an hour they were done. She said, “Dewayne, it was easier than getting a filling.” Well, she was amazed, I was amazed, and it was just about that very moment that we figured out it was just another love note from our Dearest Daddy.
I know what you are thinking. The words love note, and root canal can’t go in the same sentence but indeed then can and did. When you combine a good God and a good dentist like my friend…well, we almost shouldn’t be surprised. But the truth is this whole deal was incredibly different from what it could have been from start to finish. I mean no one prays for a root canal, in fact, no one would dare want a root canal, but this is just a good example of God saying, “You are going to have to walk this path, but I want you to know I am here to walk with you.” And He did.
The “root canals” of life can be far more difficult than this experience and honestly not all of life’s difficulties go as smoothly as this. But here’s the deal. This one will serve as a gentle remind for Judy and me that God is good, God is faithful, and God can be trusted. His faithfulness is not dependent on the outcome or the circumstances. His faithfulness is defined by His presence, and He is always there, always watching and always caring.
So, as you journey, maybe munching on a bag of pork rinds or maybe not and you hit a bump, try and make your first response to be looking, sensing His presence. Try not to panic rather try to rest in His peace. Remember what He said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” In other words, regardless of how the story ends, His gentle whisper remains the same, “I’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne