I detest my dental appointments. I’ve been known to call and reschedule the bi-yearly cleanings simply because the anxiety over going was too much to handle. Growing up, I never had a cavity. I had the normal cleanings, yet even those traumatized me! So imagine the anxiety that filled me when I learned I had not one…not two…but THREE cavities that needed a filling!
I’d rather give birth than have my teeth drilled, scraped, and filled.
During this rough period in 2017, I went to the dentist with my heart pounding. They attempted to numb me, but weren’t able to do so fully. The longer they tried, the more upset I became. My heart race skyrocketed and I started crying. The dentist advised me to reschedule because the anxiety was counteracting the novocain. I left the office feeling defeated and more anxiety-ridden than when I arrived.
I came across a passage in Hebrews a few days before the second attempt.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 ESV
The words “I will never leave you nor forsake you” became my mantra as I walked into the dentist’s office for my next appointment. I prayed these words while the hygienist numbed me. The dentist attempted to drill and I felt it. I started feeling the anxiety rising within as I voiced my discomfort. Then, I continued to pray these words. They gave me more novocain. As the dentist began drilling again, God filled me with peace. He yanked the anxiety right out of me as I continually repeated the ancient words. My racing heart slowed its pace. The shaking subsided. He was with me the whole time.
Too often, I believe the lie that God only cares about the major things. Death, disease, addiction, financial struggles, infertility, and other big problems. God reminded me in the dental chair that He cares about the minor things, as well. Even my teeth.
Are you trusting God for the minor along with the major happenings in your life? Or have you also believed the lie that we shouldn’t bother God with the minor?
There are a couple reasons why this lie has trapped me before:
- I believe my minor prayer request takes away from another’s major prayer request. If I’m asking God to be with me during my dental appointment, then maybe he won’t be with that person who is undergoing chemotherapy. What a flawed way of thinking! Yet, there’s a part of me that finds it completely rational when the enemy whispers it in my ear. Fortunately, I serve a BIG God. My God can be with me in the dentist chair and also with the woman battling cancer. This is a strategy of the enemy to separate us from God. God wants us to be in constant communication with Him! He knows we won’t always have big things happening, and yet He invites us to pray anyway.
- I believe I only have a limited number of prayer requests before God tunes me out, so I better save them for when I really need God. If I pray for God to be with me now at the dentist’s office, I’m wasting a prayer I may really need later. I imagine God sitting on His throne with a piece of paper holding my name and a bunch of marks. It’s as though he is keeping count and when I reach prayer #489, I’m cut off. Again, this is a flawed way of thinking yet it makes complete sense when I’m in that moment. God always listens to us. We may not get immediate responses from Him, but He always hears us in prayer. If we withhold the minor requests, we won’t know how to turn to Him or hear from Him when the major happens.
If you’ve also fallen into these traps, let us break free of them today! I encourage you to sit down, quiet your soul, and tell God everything. Invite Him to help you with the small, mundane, ordinary tasks that make up your day. Seek Him constantly, even when you have to get your teeth cleaned.