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“Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him…‘Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us…and opened the Scriptures to us?’…‘The Lord is risen indeed…” (Luke 24:31-34, NKJV).
“The Lord is risen indeed.”
On Sunday morning, March 29, after two weeks of “15 Days to Slow the Spread,” I read the 24th chapter of Luke’s Gospel. It all fell into place. Life had changed so much. So much had disappeared—quick trips to the convenience store, meetings with dentists, friends dropping by and dinner out. Life had become both still and different. Busy-ness no longer drowned out worry. There were no distracting deadlines to offer escape from relational struggles. Reflecting back, for two weeks the quiet had given way to a still small voice and the still small voice had been wrongly identified as the insight of an uncluttered mind. Luke’s telling of the walk to Emmaus cleared up that confusion for me.
When somebody asks me why I am a Christian, I give them two reasons.
Reason #1: Because I met Jesus and He radically changed my heart (my personal testimony).
Reason #2: Because there is excellent objective evidence that Christianity is true.
It happened so quickly, it seems. One moment it was business as usual: reviewing lab cases, getting ready for boards, opening our practice doors for patients to arrive, joking with staff and colleagues throughout the day and planning to attend the next mission trip, church service, conference, wedding or other event. It feels as if we all became affected at the same time. In an instant those jokes were replaced by concern as dental boards were put on hold, our office closed to routine dental care, we became unemployed or we put some of our staff on unemployment to keep the practice afloat in the midst of uncertainty. Our plans got cancelled one by one, our normal way of life crumbled. It’s now challenging to find one broadcast, social media post, YouTube video, email or conversation that does not mention “virus,” “pandemic” or “COVID-19”.
The first introduction to opioids for teenagers and young adults is often in the dentist’s office when they are prescribed pain medications following oral surgery. However, because opioid prescriptions may be associated with subsequent opioid abuse in this patient population, alternative therapies for managing acute dental pain may be warranted.
One of the worship songs this morning at church was “Peace Be Still” (featuring Lauren Daigle). I had never heard it before, but it stirred up various thoughts I’ve had and set them together like puzzle pieces. I have many times been like the disciples or Peter in the midst of “storms.” I’ve been dismayed that, from my perspective, Jesus could be asleep while something so crazy is happening in my life. I have also been in seasons where things are so great and then, all of a sudden, I realize I’m out on the water and freak out and let myself sink. Both times, Jesus has been with me, just like He was with them. Merciful Savior, asking me how I could doubt because He was there the entire time and is more powerful than any storm.
“Then Jethro rejoiced for all the good which the LORD had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians…And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening…So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, ‘The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people…will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself’” (Exodus 18:9-18, NKJV).
If you’re reading this, you already know this is a big and extremely relevant problem for the vast majority of dental and medical graduates under the age of 45. It’s not uncommon these days to graduate dental school with $300,000+ in debt. Heck, I have friends who graduated with close to $500,000 in debt (and when I say friends, I may or may not be referring to myself). This isn’t news.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all you heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV 1984).
I recently returned to work from my maternity leave and was reflecting on what I learned from the time off. The thing that stood out to me most was how incredible it was to have community in my life with family and with the church body. They helped my husband and me in so many ways with our children as we transitioned into life with a newborn and a toddler. Seeing how God used these people to help us in this time of life also showed me how I had taken for granted the encouragement He’s given me in my working life through community as well.
Last year I read a book by Os Guinness entitled Impossible People. I read something that really set me back on my heels:
“The truth is that the world, as Christians have known it for many centuries, has gone—gone and gone for good…gone so decisively, any simple return or reclamation is out of the question—Christian culture warring has been in vain” (p. 45).
“Everyone who is called by name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7, NIV 1984).
In Part 1 of this blog series, a search for the meaning of life was presented. That was due to observations of recent events suggesting a concern for humanity’s appreciation for life. In that search, a scientific basis for the meaning of life was presented, but then it was argued to be self-limiting. In contrast, a Christian worldview was presented, and a clearer meaning for why God created us was introduced. Simply, God created us for His glory. As I mentioned in Part 1, being informed that our existence is for some known or unknown God’s glory may instill negative emotions. However, the purpose of this blog is to grow in greater understanding of what it means to be created for God’s glory. To better understand that meaning, let us first look at the biblical meaning of the word “glory.”
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8, NKJV