Wednesday, January 15, 2014

insert Handel's Hallelujah Chorus here!

Today, as my hubby was out interviewing for a new job, I had my final follow-up at the dentist for a BIG matter that had to be fixed.  It all started last month when one of my back teeth decided to crumble... yes, crumble!  Then it turned into a three-tooth-repair-thing once my dentist and orthodontist really investigated further.  (Apparently, I have soft teeth.  Sigh.)  Root canals, specialized work, temporary crowns, and now the final crowns were ready to be inserted and finished.  All without insurance covering everything except the root canals.  All with only my personal promise to pay a hefty (but generously reduced) dental bill just as soon as I was able - - once Chuck and I were back on our feet again.  How blessed to know those who are not only talented, but also kind, understanding and patient.  Thank you, Dr. Wambaugh!!!!  Thank you so much for getting my teeth back in working order.  I love you.

Anyway, after finishing the installment of my permanent crowns, Dr. Wambaugh asked me if I wanted to fix a small chip that I've been living with on my front tooth FOREVER!  Note: A few years back, a dentist back in Chicago had casually swiped some filler over the chip, but he (unfortunately) did it incorrectly.  The result was so annoying - with a front tooth that was never cosmetically or functionally right (a food trap, if you will).  But, I lived with this stupid flaw because... well, I don't know why.  I just lived with it.  For years, that poorly-filled front tooth just annoyed and annoyed me.  Blaaaahhh!

So, when offered to have it immediately taken care of today, you can imagine my mixed emotions.  Am I going to make it worse by messing with it?  Will Dr. Wambaugh really be able to fix this forever-long problem?  Will I have a weird smile?  Will I lisp?  Will it be pretty?  Will it cost too much?  Questions, questions, questions ran through my head while Dr. Wambaugh, and his lovely assistant (Rachel), patiently waited for my decision.  (They are so great.)

Suddenly I remembered that my friend, Shelene Bryan, has a new book coming out sometime in late April named Love Skip Jump (which I highly recommend, by the way).  In it, she talks about being open to saying "yes" to the opportunities that God presents to us in our daily lives.  To live in readiness, revealing His glory through us, in order to expose Jesus' great love.  Over the holiday I was blessed to pre-read and review Shelene's book, and last week she and I were chatting about how that concept of "yes, Lord" has already played out in so many astounding ways in both our lives.

So fast forward to today... when the Holy Spirit reminded me of Shelene and to say "yes" to Dr. Wambaugh's opportunity rather than worry over all the "what if'" questions surrounding my silly tooth.  Without further hesitation, I internally thanked God and robustly said "yes" to Dr. Wambaugh.  "Yes, please!  By all means!  Feel free to fix that annoying little chip on my front tooth that only I seem to notice but clearly hate!  Yes!  YES!"

Within seconds, the dental team was back in my mouth doing who knows what with their drilly-thing-a-ma-bob-ice-cold-spray-device... filling, smoothing, polishing.  It all sounded quite horrible, really.  But thankfully, I was in the best hands and felt only some mild pressure.  When finished, Rachel held up a mirror to my face and said with a big smile, "OK, look!"

(Insert Handel's Hallelujah Chorus here!!!)

"My tooth!!!"  I squealed with delight.  "It's... it's... BEAUTIFUL!"  Sure, the real necessary work had been done deep down in the back of my mouth where nobody would ever see.  (And that work was equally, if not more, impressive.)  But my front tooth... ahhhh, now it looked, well... perfect!  (I'm teary-eyed just thinking about it. Running my tongue over every tooth and thinking how blessed we are to have dentists, and friends, and all that God provides!  We must share this wonderful hope and love, you know!  We must bring the same joy of Jesus to all the world by sharing our own talents and time, peeps!)  Thank you again, Dr. Wambaugh... and thank you, precious Lord Jesus, whose glory cannot be compared!

Isn't that just like God?  He generously works deep within us - restoring and renewing the mess inside our crumbled, corrupted souls.  Rooting out all that is evil and broken, and making us into new, better creatures in Christ.  Then, once His Way is deeply established within our softened hearts, He further blesses us with the honor of looking more beautiful.  Why?  Because Jesus is apparent outside when He is firmly living inside!  Our chips are filled and corrected by His grace.  Questions are answered through obedience that awesomely then gives us the greatest privilege of exposing The Master's glory.  Sure, there is work to be done.  There is pressure to endure as we learn to abide in Him.  But isn't it all worth it?  And aren't we in the very best hands?!!!  People, we are desperately in need of God's filling, smoothing, polishing!  So please, trust me when I tell you that there is no greater joy than to look in the mirror and squeal with delight, "Jesus, you are soooo BEAUTIFUL!!!  You are faithful to restore and renew!!!  Let me take in everything you wish for me to reflect.  Let me always say 'yes' in order to expose Your grace and glory!  Let me showcase YOU in all that I say and do!!!"

(Again, insert Handel's Hallelujah Chorus and have a blessed day allowing Christ to restore your life to His beautiful NEW!)  LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. (Proverbs 27:19)

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:12-13)



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