The shrill giggle cut through whatever nerves may still have been lingering in the little room. While our free-spirited 3-year-old girl sat up tall in the chair, laughing her way through her very first trip to the dentist, her big brother was sitting quietly in the corner, quivering a bit… just watching.
Before we arrived, Katherine was barely able to sit still in her carseat, so excited about going to the dentist. But Jeffrey was worried that it would hurt. Apparently a friend had told him so. Jeffrey often makes up his mind ahead of time about things by listening to what others have experienced. On the other hand, Katherine kind of plows her own way through life. She finds out the easy (or hard) way. Funny how kids who came from the same mommy and daddy can be so different.
In case you’re wondering, Jeffrey did actually get into the chair, but not before tears and out-loud crying ensued. He nervously climbed up and let her clean his teeth. And guess what? The longer he sat, the more he relaxed. It wasn’t like his friend had warned him… not at all.
On the way home, Jeffrey shouted from the backseat, “I LOVE the dentist!” with a big smile on his face. Then he had to tell me in detail about everything he enjoyed during his first trip to the dentist. Funny. Just an hour before he was scared to death of what was about to happen. He was afraid of the unknown.
Sound like anyone you know? As much as I would like to say I “plow through life” like Katherine, I’m actually more like Jeffrey. The more “unknown” something is to me, the harder I fight it. Something new and different can’t be best, can it? But after I wear myself out from the fighting, what I normally find on the other side is something good for me.
Change is hard. It’s scary. None of us really enjoy walking into the pitch black with only a tiny helmet light casting a one-foot visual down the path. But God knows what’s in that path. He knows what we’re going to run into and how far ahead of time He needs to show it to us. He just knows. We don’t need to try to make our lights bigger or find two sticks to rub together to make a fire that lights the way. If we keep trying to do that, we’ll just wear ourselves out, only to find that the best way through the unknown… is His way.
So are you a quiverer… or a giggler?
…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:7
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