Painful or uncertain Circumstances face everyone at some point, whether it is sudden, unbearable toothache or something worse. Elizabeth Pitman shares how God used root canal treatment to get to the root of her fears and overcome them.
Throbbing…pulsating pain…the kind that makes you want to sit in a fetal position and suck your thumb because it’s unbearable…This week my life was caught off guard by sudden discomfort in my tooth that was radiating throughout the whole right side of my face. Progressively getting worse and not sure what was going on, I knew that I needed to go see my dentist without delay.
The uncertainty of what I was about to find out from my X-rays made my heart race and palms sweat… Then, the dreaded words came: “Your nerve appears dead and it looks like you may need (cue the music) da da dum… “a root canal”. Gulp. Swallowing deeply. Shock entered the equation. And, then, I found myself silently asking God, “Why is this happening?”
Are you facing a painful situation?
Have you been there in this same circumstance or another painful situation, maybe physically or emotionally? If so, you can identify with the feelings that were trying to overwhelm me. Life has a way of catching us by surprise… One minute, things are going smoothly, it’s all plain sailing and couldn’t be going better; but, the next minute, waves start swirling all around shaking up your insides, creating fear, anxiety, stress, or all of the above.
I left the dentist’s chair feeling all of these emotions, as I fought the reality that I was about to face the unknown. That day and the next were spiritual battles. Fear came against me and I had to fight it with faith. Recognizing the need for God’s peace, I opened up a devotional, and God spoke to me clearly and refocused my perspective, by giving me ‘spiritual eyes’ the night before my procedure. It was almost as if the scripture He pointed out to me was highlighted, because God knew I needed this EXACT encouragement to face what I needed to face:
“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’ (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Claiming this scripture, peace flooded my heart and a confidence that God will never leave me nor forsake me, no matter what life throws in my direction. Whatever tomorrow holds, He is already in it. And, the same is true for you, my friend. Believe in Him and know that He is walking with you each step of the way.
Does this mean you will never feel fear? No. Was I still nervous? Yes! But, I walked into the appointment the next day, resting that God had already been in it and trusting Him for the outcome. God gave me the strength and the grace I needed to go through the procedure so that my tooth could start to feel normal again.
As I am currently sitting here healing from my root canal, I asked the Lord to show me what I could learn spiritually from this situation, and He revealed an epiphany to encourage not only myself but others: Let’s get to the ‘root of the matter’ and identify the underlying issue: is there a hurt or pain (maybe physically or emotionally) that has been throbbing and affecting every area of your life? What are you currently facing that is making you lose your peace and keeps you up at night? Do you find it affecting you physically?
Uncertain or painful circumstances, Stress, anxiety, and fear can all lead to health issues, such as sleeplessness, panic attacks, ulcers, and heart attacks. Emotional pain that is undealt with can not only impact you but also your treatment of others. This is mainly due to the fact that it frequently leads to bitterness, which is an internal poison that starts on the inside and works its way out. Because of this, hurting people radiate their bitterness to others and inflict pain beyond themselves.
So, what can we do to begin the healing process after we have identified the ‘root of the matter’?
Keys to Trusting God in Painful or Uncertain Circumstances
- Run to the ‘Great Physician’, JESUS, and allow him to perform a ‘spiritual root canal’. What does this exactly look like? It involves accepting His lordship and His sovereignty in our lives. By inviting Him into our circumstances, He can begin the healing process both physically and emotionally. His healing makes us whole and begins to remake our brokenness into beauty. He can turn ALL things around for good. (Romans 8:28).
- Focus on scripture and claim His promises. Write verses down that deal with your specific situation, and put them where you can encourage yourself daily. Part of healing the root of the issue is to let His Word and His truth move from our heads to our hearts. With that heart knowledge, peace begins to reside, even when situations are challenging or overwhelming. His supernatural peace supersedes the natural fears, and gives us the confidence to face each circumstance that comes.
- Entrust everything to His tender and loving care. He knows the very number of hairs on our heads and cares about every detail of our lives. Psalm 139 is a very encouraging passage that testifies to this. Because He is an all-knowing, omnipotent God, we can trust that He is already in our future and that we are not fighting our battles on our own. He is with us, and we can release the burdens that we are carrying over to Him.
” ‘No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17)
Life is inevitable and unpredictable, particularly from a human perspective. Uncertain circumstances are bound to come… Things can often by painful, but, how reassuring to know that God is in our tomorrows. As we seek Him, He is leading us, caring for us, and giving us the strength and the grace to face each day and endure whatever may catch us off guard. “His strength is made perfect in our weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Since, God is sitting on His throne and nothing catches Him by surprise, we can rest in His sovereignty. This trust and peace should act as a sort of ‘spiritual anesthesia’ (numbing our pain), as we entrust our healing to the ‘Great Physician’ who mends the root of every issue in our lives. So, let’s take a deep breath, and soak in this scripture as we begin the process:
“For do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)