This week, I had the unfortunate experience of getting multiple shots in my gums and spending a total of seven hours in three different dentist’s chairs. The only good part about the experience is that it’s finally over.
I knew I was going to get some extensive work done, so I decided to bring some music to drown out the sound of the drill buzzing in my mouth. I was surprised at how much it helped.
My wife had downloaded some of my favorite worship songs onto my phone, and I actually felt a great deal of peace in the midst of an otherwise unpleasant experience. Even though I probably had the music up a little too loudly, it was worth it; and before long, I began having a nice little prayer time. I thought, Wow, this is probably the most spiritual experience I’ve had so far this year – right here in the dentist’s chair. But then the real pain started.
The shots of Novacaine had been incredibly effective throughout the procedure, but suddenly, I felt a sharp pain go through my mouth. I immediately put my hand up and did the best I could to say “stop.”
“Did you feel something?” the dentist asked.
I nodded aggressively and raised my eyebrows.
From Bad to Worse
“It looks like we’re going to need to give you another shot,” she said.
I hate shots, but by that point, I didn’t care if she needed to stick me again. I just didn’t want to feel that kind of pain anymore. But I had no idea how bad it was going to get.
When the dentist started drilling again, the drill pierced through my tooth and hit the nerve, shooting all kinds of pain through my mouth.
“Stop!” I said, digging my fingers into the armrests.
My spiritual retreat in the dentist’s chair was over. I didn’t want to hear the music anymore; I couldn’t formulate the words to pray; and when the dentist hit that nerve, I couldn’t even imagine saying the name “Jesus.” In that moment, my entire reality was pain.
When Your Spiritual Nerves Have Been Hit
After that awful experience was over, I thought about the many people out there who live in constant, unbearable, and intense emotional pain. These people are our coworkers, our family members, our spouses – and sometimes, they’re us. There’s no song that’s distracting enough, no prayer that makes sense; not a coherent thought other than one desperate plea: “Stop.”
In those moments, we hear the voice of Satan, who accuses us and tells us that we do not truly love the Lord. He says that we are too angry, too distracted, too hopeless. And he is a liar.
If that’s you right now, if you’re in too much pain to reach out for God or combat the condemnation of the enemy, please know that this truth from Romans 8:34 is more real than anything you’re feeling. And don’t breeze through it. Savor it.
Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Maybe you don’t have the words to pray right now, maybe you can’t even cry out to God; but take heart – Jesus Himself is pleading for you.