I don't know anyone who enjoys going to the dentist. But sometimes it is necessary. A few weeks ago we were in to see our dentist for some regular check-ups and cleaning. But just the night before we were going, I had a piece break off a tooth that was already more filling than enamel. Well, when the dentist looked at it, he said I really needed a crown in order to save and protect that tooth. He did a quick filling to replace the piece that had broken off, and yesterday I was in for the preparatory work for the cap--grinding it down, taking impressions and putting on a temporary cap. All in all, it was not a pleasant experience.
But as I think about it now, I see some lessons in what I went through that can be applied to life in general and to the Christian life in particular. First of all, there is the reality that in life we sometimes have to deal with things that are less than pleasant. Sometimes God takes us through experiences that we would not choose if we were given the option. Yet, in the long run, these things are for our benefit. If I did not go through the experience in the dentist's chair, I could face far worse consequences later on.
Second, there are times in the midst of our experiences that require extreme patience and waiting. When the impressions were being made so that the lab can build the permanent cap, the mold was placed in my mouth and there is nothing to do but sit there, without moving your mouth, and wait. There is no way to speed up the process. All you can do is wait until the dental assistant says the process is done. Sometimes God puts us in situations like that. We would like to speed things up, to get moving, but God says, just be patient; you need to wait for my timing.
No, it was not a fun experience. But I am glad the worst is over. All that is left is to have the permanent cap installed in a couple of weeks. But in the meantime, I trust and pray that I can be accepting of the events and situations God brings into my life, even though they may be unpleasant, and realize that everything he does is really for my ultimate good.
Gordon Rowland has been a Missionary-Pastor with Village Missions of Canada for over 35 years. Gordon and his wife Val have lived and served in Clive since 2001. They have four children and nine wonderful grandchildren.