A brief history to give you some perspective. When I was a child I had to have some major work done - to this day I don't really know what it is they were doing. It was like a scene out of an alien abduction movie. I would think it was just a nightmare if my mom didn't remember it as well. She remembers not being let in the room. I remember wanting her in the room and a black tarp placed over my mouth which was held open with some clamp thing and the tarp was used to hold the needles in place. I remember being terrified, I remember the needles hurting - alot - and I remember the doctors being angry and telling me to be quiet.
As an adult, about 10-ish years ago, I needed my wisdom teeth removed. The dentist who determined this was really nice, but he had to refer me to a surgeon to have the procedure done - all 4 teeth removed at once. I have a terrible fear of needles, had never had surgery on anything before, had never put under before, and never had an IV before. I got all these in one wack. I explained this to the doctor who seemed a little unsympathetic - he seemed to think I was being a little childish. It took them 3 tries to get the IV in - finally got a vein in the back of my hand - major ouch! When I came out of the drug-induced sleep I was sluggish and a little queasy - which, I think, was to be expected. The doctor & nurses were ready to go home. I was their last patient of the day and I'd taken entirely too long to wake up. He flat out told me that if I couldn't rouse myself enough to make it out of the building, he'd give me another shot (knowing I was terrified of needles)! This kicked in the adrenaline caused by fear and, with mom's helping arm, I staggered out of the office vowing never to visit a dentist again!
This past Monday, a piece of one of my molars broke off . . . a rather large piece. This was not unexpected as my fillings are all old and that particular tooth had a particularly large filling . . . plus, I like to crunch on the partially popped popcorn kernals - and we all know that's bad for teeth.
One of the guys at work recommended a dentist. As this particular co-worker can tend to be a whiner about anything that causes him the slightest discomfort, I figured there was a chance this doctor would be at least a little gentle.
I visited the dentist yesterday - and it was the best experience I've ever had with any physician of any sort! He wasn't really communicative - he was very focused on his work - but he was kind, and he did explain what I needed to know, and he was very, very gentle! I ended up needing a crown for the tooth. He explained what this meant. It took 3 shots, one in the roof of my mouth (ouch, but not overly much so) and after that I pretty much didn't feel a thing :-)
I have to go back in a couple of weeks to have the temporary crown replaced by a permanent porcelain one, but I have no fear of the impending procedure . . . in fact, I'm kinda looking forward to it :-) . . . that's partially because he said no needles would be required for this part of the process ;-)
So here's the conclusion. Fear must never be allowed to control our decisions. Our faith and trust must always rest in God to either keep us from harm or keep us through it. We must understand that our God is sovereign - only then can we take our childhood fears and find release from them in facing them through HIS strength.
Perhaps that seems a little disconnected from the dentist story, but it's not - it's the underlying lesson through it. I would not have been able to go to the dentist years ago to have my wisdom teeth removed if I did not trust God - it that case He carried me through the challenge. If I had let that experience deter me from trusting God in this most recent incident, I wouldn't have been able to have the positive experience of being protected.
All praise & honor & glory to HIM :-)