After I finished my dinner last night, my tongue slid along the back reaches of my mouth. It wasn’t something I was doing on purpose – it was some sort of intrinsic and extrinsic muscle movement. However, as my tongue proceeded with its lateral maneuverings, it landed on one of my back molars.
Something was amiss.
“Wait a minute,” I thought. “What happened to my tooth?”
Instead of feeling a smooth surface area, my tongue had discovered a rough, jagged, and sharp unfamiliar area.
“Oh, great,” I said aloud. “It looks like part of my tooth is cracked – and I’ve swallowed a chunk of it.”
“The timing couldn’t be better,” I groaned.
For the following day, I was all set for my annual I hope I still don’t have cancer trip to my radiologist. I don’t like to schedule things before or after this emotion-packed appointment. However, I didn’t know if my tooth issue was a big or small deal. It couldn’t be delayed. So, I called my dentist this morning and made an appointment immediately following my I hope I still don’t have cancer scans.
As I headed out to my first appointment, my feelings ran the gamut between notions that everything will go fine to I wonder if cancer has decided to make a return appearance. The cloudy, dark, glacial morning atmosphere did nothing to inspire confidence or hope. However, just because it wasn’t a warm, sunny and bright day didn’t mean that Jesus wasn’t with me.
I’ve learned that Jesus’ presence is not dependent upon the weather, the time of day, or the circumstance I am living out at any given moment. Jesus is just as present in dark, uncertain times as He is when life is luminous and clear. There’s almost a paradox in this reality, isn’t there? Difficulty, suffering, hard times, cancer-wonderings, and even a cracked tooth offer an opportunity to trust my God and to experience all the love He has for me – even when I’m not exactly sure what is going to happen.
Gratefully, gratefully, gratefully, I breezed through my appointment with my radiologist who confirmed that everything looked great. No cancer had returned. She said she was very happy with what she saw and that she would see me next year. Yeah!!!
As I drove up from underground parking garage, the sun was shining bright in the sky. The biting cold temperatures were gone and all the grey clouds, too! I traversed over to my dentist to learn the fate of my tooth. Again, not knowing what would happen, I appreciated how the warmer weather and the bright sunlight improved the atmosphere. And a cancer-free report didn’t hurt either!
I entered my dentist’s office and my dentist offered another piece of good news! My tooth had suffered a slight crack and could be repaired easily – even without Novocain! As my dentist worked her wonders, I experienced a bit of pain and winced a few times, but before I knew it, she was finished. Every rough, jagged, sharp area that my tongue had felt the night before had been filled, polished and shined up as good as new!
As I drove back home, the sun was still shining strong. My heart was pumping with gratitude. I returned home cancer-free – again. This is my sixth year of making this purposeful trek to my radiologist to learn if all of that medical work – a surgery, radiation treatments and more – had done their job and if their after effects were still doing their job. They were.
But even more importantly, I am grateful to my Savior and Lord for being with me in my uncertainty this morning. He was also there for the glorious, affirming revelations that followed each examination. He was present in the dark moments and in the bright and shining moments of my day.
In Christ Jesus, I experienced the inseparable love my God.
I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor ruler, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
New International Version, Romans 8: 38-39
I could write it this way:
I am sure that neither a cancer diagnosis nor good health, nor a cracked tooth, nor fillings, nor fear nor assurance, nor darkness, nor light, nor grey clouds, nor bright skies, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate me from the love of my God in Christ Jesus my Lord.
My Jesus is fully present with me in it all and I am in Him.
I begin a new year in Christ – cancer-free and less cracked.
Isn’t that great?