If Life Gives You a Root Canal…Yes, Lord. And Thank You.

3:15am and I’m woken by pounding in mouth.

It’s the abcess tooth I thought was simply leaky filling. “Root Canal,” the dentist told me 3 days ago.

At 3:21, I try to ignore it, attempt to cave to the groggy in my head, but the pain won’t let me.

The darkness seems a welcome retreat and I take up its mantra: “I‘m going to be so tired in the morning.” “I just wish I could get a good night’s rest.”

Immediately I feel the energy sap out of me, like wringing a sponge, and I confess to God, “Forgive me, Lord! I seem to want to live in darkness, but really I don’t. God, help me!”

And I see clearly. The thoughts are a blanket tossed my way, sourced by Darkness itself…and I can refuse the cloak they offer.

There is another way.

So I take up gentleness instead. “Yes, Lord. And thank You.”

The “Yes, Lord” part and I have quite a history. Sometime I’ll scratch it out here… But the “Thank You part?” Well that is fairly new. Because I always wondered what exactly I’m thanking Him for?

When I’m in a fender bender, or a child wakes up sick, or Loving Husband is unavailable to meet my needs, or when I’m in the wrong check out line, {which seems to be a pattern for me, and a 10 minute grocery run turns into a 25 minute one}… I’m supposed to give thanks in all things. But sometimes I’m not sure exactly where to start.

One day I was reading ~repenting my way through would be more accurate~ in Romans 1 and there it was: ” For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, nor give thanks…” Romans 1:21

I realized then that thanksgiving is linked to knowing God, to understanding His heart and intentions.

But understanding God’s heart and glory requires a response: Honor and Thanksgiving. Furthermore, if the response isn’t the correct one, it leads to “futile speculations and a darkened heart.”

My difficulty in giving thanks was, at the core, an issue of understanding God and honoring Him as God, in truth for who He really is.

Honor means to celebrate, to magnify, to esteem and lend lustre to. Honoring God is a deliberate choice to recall to mind what He is and celebrate His attributes.

Giving thanks then, is settling down on the character of God.

This has revolutionized my giving thanks. Instead of trying to muster up gratitude for a blade of grass, I can easily thank Him for His goodness that provides the green beneath my feet, for His faithfulness that sends water for it to grow, for His Spirit that sustains every form of life.

So much easier for me! I get it!

So when the abcess tooth woke me up this morning, my “Yes, Lord. And Thank You” went like this:

“Thank You Lord, for Your faithfulness to me. Thank You that You meet my every single need according to Your riches and grace.

Thank You that Your signature gifts are grace and peace and they are always mine for the taking.

Thank You Lord, for Your unfailing Love and the impossibility of it ever being insufficient.

Thank You that You’ve given me all I need to live godly ~right now~ in Christ Jesus.

Thank You that You’re delighted and thrilled to give me the kingdom…I’ll take that, Lord, I’ll take that….

Thank You for love that stretches to the heavens and a faith that overcomes the world and Spirit-breath that imparts and sustains life; thank You for Humility that washed feet, that rubbed finger in spittle, that spoke, “DO not fear, little flock.”

Thank You for eyes that see ~finally~ and for the chance to be more like all that.”

So Yes Lord. And Thank You.

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6 Comments on “If Life Gives You a Root Canal…Yes, Lord. And Thank You.”

  1. hippie4ever says:

    Having suffered through a Root Canal too…I would add: Thank You God for living in an era where there are dentists who can take care of the problem!

  2. Dawn Phenix says:

    Loved it, thx for the reminder to give thx 🙂

  3. Monica Locke says:

    Oh, what a good reminder…to give thanks in all things;) I needed that this Monday!

  4. Patricia Hultman says:

    I use to ponder how can I say thank you for this emotional pain, the rejection, the fighting, the ….., but you are right, Thank God for who he is, what he is, and what he has done, and what he is doing, your examples give me the perspective I had not considered before. Thank you!

  5. Kristen says:

    This post reminded me of this:”Somehow the answer of the little golden flower which grew all alone in the waste of the desert stole into her heart and echoed there faintly but sweetly, filling her with comfort. She said to herself,’He has brought me here when I did not want to come for His own purpose. I, too, will look up into His face and say,”Behold me! I am thy little handmaiden Acceptance-with-Joy”‘ from “Hinds Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. Love that book.

  6. […] fear, stress, anger, feelings of being overwhelmed, irritation with interruptions, etc with “Yes, Lord. And thank You.” Allow all of those little things to be triggers for submission to and reverence for […]


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