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“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10, NKJV).
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).
Why do you follow Jesus?
These are answers I hear a lot: The Bible says so. I grew up in a Christian home. I had an experience with God.
But we are told our lives will be more difficult. That does not sound good. There will be a reward, but not necessarily in this lifetime. Jesus is not always a “nice guy.” Do we want to believe what is pleasant and easy, or what is true? Even though I don’t like my phone bill, I know it is true.
Regardless of your practice setting, you encounter them also. Those uncertain of themselves yet confident in the need that has violated their entire body. That need for more, the need to fabricate pain just to get more.
“And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them” (John 17.10, NKJV)
Resurrection Sunday blesses the calendars of our lives uniquely this Sunday. It lifts up the life of our Lord as a model for so many transitions we face along the journey into which Christ has commissioned us. The passion of our Lord’s heart – poured out in His high priestly prayer of Gethsemane’s Garden – reveals how Jesus evaluated the preparations He made for the transition He would face.
In dental school, several of my instructors would mention their theory of why the suicide rate among dentists was so high, sometimes as a joke or some for serious reasons. One professor’s theory made the most sense to me: Work itself can become very redundant and most restorations eventually fail. You can feel like you’ve worked so hard to bring someone’s mouth into health and restore their smile, but if they don’t take care of their mouth, all of your hard work can fall apart. He also mentioned that if you’re in it for the money, that will fail you too. If all you’ve built your life on is your work and your things, then it’s going to be a big disappointment.
Let’s face it. Not everyone in the dental “industry” has a passion for oral healthcare. For some, dentistry is a moneymaking opportunity. Christian owners of businesses are sometimes overwhelmed, sometimes misunderstood and sometimes conflicted.
Not long ago, a patient walked in to my office and requested tooth whitening. After a brief exam, I found multiple abscessed teeth as well as loose restorative material that posed an aspiration risk. None of these findings seemed to concern him one bit.
Are class II composites getting old fast? Tired of searching for canals on that maxillary molar? Is dentistry becoming dull? This could be for several reasons, but one thing to consider is how much you are doing your daily work for the glory of God. Are you working for yourself, for others or for the Lord?
Christmas carols slip past the guardians of cultural sensitivities every now and then, bringing a smile to our souls in the midst of our troubled world. We remember so many times when God broke through history on the pages of His Word to make things new again. We long for a renewal in our lives and world. Sights, sounds, reflections and meditations on Christmas rekindle that hope, and we are reminded that a baby in a small-town stable marked a new beginning in which not just some but all things will one day be made new.
As professionals in dentistry, our joy of serving our friends and community becomes a process of repeatedly greeting and warming up old friendships and occasionally rekindling lost friendships. Good dentistry is about befriending our customers, perhaps more than any modern day remaining professions. We still have our role in every responsible community member’s life, providing competent cleaning and check ups every six months (annually for the edentulous).
All of us suffer, to some extent, through our lifetimes. Those of you who know me know I am a quadriplegic, which limits my ability to do things, and have almost constant neuropathic pain. I have personal experience with pain and suffering, and, being an orofacial pain specialist, I also deal with it on a professional level.