Quotes and highlights from Chapel, March 14, 2018.
This past Monday I went to the dentist, this was the third visit in two weeks… I’ve got two more to go because what happened to my tooth was so bad. A few weeks ago, my tooth started to hurt so I waited a few days to make sure the pain didn’t just go away, it did not, so I made an appointment to see my dentist. When I went to the dentist she showed me the x-ray, I had some serious decay under one of my crowns and we discovered that I had an exposed nerve and I was going to need a root canal. A lovely procedure where they drill into your tooth and remove the tooth decay, then stick this file down the nerve canal and clean out the dead pulp, finally filling up the empty canal with pink rubbery stuff.
So back to Monday’s visit… my dentist, who I really like and trust, had done all the work to finish up the root canal and one of her assistants needed to take a final x-ray. This was the worst part of all the visits so far, and it should not have been. She sticks this rectangular paddle into my mouth to take the x-ray, but this thing is huge and the edges are sharp… basically, it was torture! I literally was gagging, but I just wanted it to be done so I did my best to handle the situation. This hurt more than when my dentist shot me with Novocain or when she touched the exposed nerve. I trusted this assistant not to hurt me too bad (you’re at the dentist, you are going to feel pain at some point) but she did. It was awful. She was a poor photographer too, she had to try about five times to get the perfect picture… every time she took a photo it hurt! I like my dentist but I don’t trust her assistant. I don’t even know which one it was, she was wearing a mask.
I was angry because I trusted this person and all she did was hurt me. Sounds like a bad relationship doesn’t it.
2 Kings 13:14-20a TLB 14 When Elisha was in his last illness, King Joash visited him and wept over him. “My father! My father! You are the strength of Israel!” he cried. 15 Elisha told him, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did. 16-17 “Open that eastern window,” he instructed. Then he told the king to put his hand upon the bow, and Elisha laid his own hands upon the king’s hands. “Shoot!” Elisha commanded, and he did. Then Elisha proclaimed, “This is the Lord’s arrow, full of victory over Syria; for you will completely conquer the Syrians at Aphek. 18 Now pick up the other arrows and strike them against the floor.” So the king picked them up and struck the floor three times. 19 But the prophet was angry with him. “You should have struck the floor five or six times,” he exclaimed, “for then you would have beaten Syria until they were entirely destroyed; now you will be victorious only three times.” 20 So Elisha died and was buried.
At the beginning of this story, the prophet Elisha is deathly sick when the King Joash comes to him, Joash is worried about their Syrian enemies. Elisha tells King Joash to open a window and to shoot an arrow eastward, to represent the Lord giving victory to Israel against the Syrians. Then the king is directed to hit the arrows against the ground which Joash does three times, Elisha gets angry and replies that God will only give them victory over Syria three times because the king followed the directions halfheartedly… he should have beat the ground 5 or 6 times with the arrows.
Scripture is vague on how he should have known how many times to hit the floor with the arrows, but from Elisha’s response we can decipher that King Joash was just going through the motions and there was a lack of trust. He was not completely on board with Elisha’s prophecy. Remember, this is a King who openly prayed to God, but also to idols… we don’t really know where he put his trust. It surely was not fully in God and it was not fully into his idols… he was halfhearted in what he trusted.
Fear is the destroyer of trust. Many people do not put their trust in God because they fear they will, in some way, lose out, or that they are limiting themselves. Those of us who are Christian many times only trust God halfheartedly like King Joash because we don’t want to give up control over our life.
In life we will put our trust into something, most times it’s into ourselves or something worldly, but if we put our trust in things other than God, we will be disappointed. We are only human, and the things of this world are temporary. God is the only sure bet, nothing is as solid as God. Nothing is like him.
By putting your trust in God, you will never lose out, you will have to sacrifice, you will have to rely on him to guide you, which means you are going to have to let go of some control, but you will never lose out! Your life is not limited, it becomes limitless with God.