Brief Excursions in the Valley of Baca

So now I know why since ancient history the mouth has been a favorite target amongst torturers. I am off in a few hours for my fifth (out of six) visit to the dentist chair in the past week. Of course, the only opening is at the same hour that the Japanese moving company is arriving to take our boxes. (I will be praying a great deal for Eric at this time). After one temporary crown, four fillings, and then two visits trying to determine which of the five lovely additions to my mouth could be causing the crazy pain of the past few days, I am scheduled for root canal this morning. Then, my new dentist who we have written into our will is going to come into the office on Saturday or Sunday to install the new permanent crown to cover up the holes put in my mouth today. And I am finally on antibiotics for my sinus infection, which has made figuring all of this out even more insane.

Perhaps the most discouraging part of all of this has been the disconnect I have had between these realities and the realities of what God is doing in my life. I have been memorizing Psalm 84 — the theme of pilgrimage has felt very appropriate in the midst of international moves and questions from children about where our real home is. But I have had selective memory as I have reviewed these verses in the dentist’s chair. It has felt easier to focus on verse 2 “My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord.” (I was praying for the joy of fainting into the courts of the Lord several times this past week), than to continue on to verse 3, “my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.” Or “as they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs”… I fear that through the past two days of packing in the midst of a bit of pain I have not made our home a place of springs. I have not been very good at “ever singing His praise” (verse 4).
These are good days to mentally, physically, more consciously seek to practice the presence of God. I am promised by this psalmist that if I go from strength to strength, then God will be seen (verse 6). So I am going to try and make better choices today.. while recognizing that meltdowns may be par for the course a few more times before lift-off, I can allow God’s grace to be sufficient for whatever this day may hold. Even root canal.
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