Hello again. Yes, I know it’s unusual for me to show up mid-week, especially when I already have a post planned for the weekend. So what in the world is going on? Well, a couple weeks ago I got scheduled to have my wisdom teeth removed, which they were yesterday. In the process, I learned and relearned some things, a couple of which I wanted to share with ya’ll, and I didn’t want to wait a whole week to get it out of my system.
*Looks down at the most recent post* Oh yeah, I just posted about fear, didn’t I? Guess what…It was because I was learning about it. Again. *Laughs* Something I’m known for doing is anticipating things WAY ahead of time, and when they’re things I’m dreading, that’s not a good thing at all. When I first found out a date had been set for getting my teeth removed, I felt so scared I was almost sick to my stomach. Not good at all. So I had to go through the process of giving my fear up to God…again, and again, and again. The fun thing about fear is that it’s not just a one-time deal that is over and done nice and quick. It’s a constant process of surrender. And in the two weeks or so leading up to getting my wisdom teeth out, that’s exactly what was happening.
Oh, but I learned something new from it. Want to hear? I learned that when I spent an hour or two every morning reading my Bible, devotions books, memorizing scripture, and praying, it was a lot harder to be afraid. I’m not even kidding! I would look for the fear, and it just wouldn’t be there. That was a real blessing, and just one more good reason to develop the habit of spending time with the Lord. I encourage everyone to make it a habit to get up early and spend an hour or two in the quiet with God.
Attitude of Gratitude
Ooh, this one is a lot of fun. I found out the hard way yesterday that the pain medicine the doctor prescribed for me is not very effective, so I haven’t had much in the way of comfort since getting my teeth out. (Besides the squishy canned peaches I’ve been eating. Those help a lot. *Wink* Actually, cold packs help a lot more.) In predicaments like this, it’s extremely easy to get focused on the pain. And when you focus on the pain, it’s really easy to get negative really quick. But that’s not the only option. See, pain can either turn us inwards and focus us on ourselves and our miseries, and thus weaken us, or it can turn us outwards and make us count our blessings, and strengthen us.
It’s easy to find things to complain about when you’re in pain. (And believe me, I’m well practiced at it.)
“My jaw hurts!” “These stitches are driving my tongue insane!” “I want to eat real food!” “The pain medicine isn’t working!” “I can’t get enough sleep with the pain keeping me awake for four whole hours at night!” “My cheeks are so swollen I look like a chipmunk!”
While these may be valid complaints, they only make me more aware of the pain, and thus much more miserable. And they don’t build character. They tear it down.
But what happens if I look for the good in all those complaints?
“My jaw could hurt a lot more if they had damaged a nerve. I’m glad it only hurts as much as it does.” “I’m sure glad these stitches are dissolvable so I won’t have to go back to the doctor to get them removed!” “You know what, squishy peaches and apricots are nice to eat, and it’s all part of the healing process. At least I get to eat!” “Hey, the pain medicine may not be killing any pain, but at least it’s not giving me nasty side effects either!” “I’m so glad I had four hours last night to mentally write up that blog post!” “Hey, at least my cheeks aren’t fuzzy like a chipmunk’s, so my sisters don’t pet them!”
See what I mean? We can either focus on the clouds of life, or we can focus on the silver linings – and the Son that they reflect. And ultimately, that’s what all pain is designed to teach us to do – to look to Christ more and more. The best place to start is with an attitude of gratitude. *Smiles* And you know what I’ve found? When we look for things to be grateful for, the pain suddenly isn’t so very painful after all.
Maybe wisdom teeth are called that because of the things they teach a person when they get removed, rather than a supposed wisdom they bring to those who keep them. *Smiles a little* If so, it’s worth the chipmunk cheeks they’ve given me.