I made my first trip to the dentist last week since returning to Florida. After the X-rays, everything seemed good. No issues. Score. That is until the dentist came in, blew some air on my teeth, I reacted, and then he broke the news that I had a little cavity. Bummer.
Fortunately only a $60 dollar fix, and I would just need to come back in a few days. Like a parolee without a real reason to flee, I turned myself into the authorities to let them get to work.
After numbing me up, and without much explanation, they got rolling. So I daydreamed about the upcoming next few months of our church plant, so as not to waste any time. What else was I supposed to do? I couldn’t see anything. They didn’t give me a mirror-which was a good move on their part. I don’t think watching a dude drill out parts of your teeth could make one’s day any better.
So there I was, unable to see anything. Unable to feel anything, so I guess that means they could have been doing anything. And of course, not being well versed on dentistry procedures, I had no clue what they were even supposed to be doing.
Yet I sat there without a concern in the world, totally trusting the dental team. I couldn’t see what they were doing, yet I knew they were doing something that I really needed. I trusted that they were doing something good, but I had no immediate evidence to support such a thought. And I couldn’t feel that they were doing anything good.
Did these people really care about me? Now the dentist was nice. And a fisherman. I like those kinds of people a lot. I really do. But he didn’t know me, and he probably has good malpractice insurance (if something went wrong). Yet I trusted him. Without even thinking about it whether trusting him was a good idea or not.
Then it hit me. If I can trust a dentist to work in my mouth even though I can’t see him at work-and have no idea what he’s really doing-then should it be that much of a leap to trust God when I can’t see what He’s doing? Even though I can’t often see what God is doing (He, like the dentist doesn’t often see fit to give me a mirror), should I have any less reason to trust Him?
Should I trust the dentist more than I trust God? Does it even make sense to do so?
This metaphor will not necessarily make me trust God more in the future. And in and of itself, it won’t make you either. But perhaps, it is good to see the irrationality of doubting that God is at work even when we can’t see Him at work.
It never hurts to see the irrationality of doubt or the silliness of anger (a la Jonah). And to see it often. Perhaps Romans 8:29-that God will work all things out for the good of those who love Him-makes more sense to me now.
At least it makes a little more sense to trust God, since He is better, more loving, more sacrificial, more invested, and more committed to me than a pretty dang good dentist.