Thursday, January 29, 2009

Life's Wrinkles...

I had my 6 month's visit to my dentist and the hygienist this week. It's not my favorite way to spend part of a day but it's important and I'm grateful for those who have chosen dentistry as a profession. I had good news - no cavities - healthy gums and mouth.

But the mostly one-sided conversation with the hygienist (couldn't say much while there were fingers and instruments working in my mouth) revealed some real concern in her life. I don't know this gal very well as I've changed dentists fairly recently so have only seen her once or twice before. To the casual, "How are you?" question, she had a rather dubious answer. I asked if there was something she wanted to share about her life since it seemed she was a little uncertain about something. She began to share about the recent discovery and diagnosis of a very rare form of benign tumor which was the size of a baseball. It had been removed but apparently the removal wasn't complete and she was being referred to a specialist who would be doing another surgery very soon. I could tell that she was very concerned and nervous. She said, "I just want it out! I just want to be rid of this! I just want my life back!" As she concluded my exam, she opened my folder to record what she had done. As she leafed through the papers, she found that some of the papers had gotten folded and creased so she tried to straighten them. She was trying to flatten those papers so they would lie more smoothly but they were wrinkled and messy. As I observed this brief episode, I said to her, "Seems like those papers are a little like your life right now - there are some unwanted wrinkles in the papers and in your life."

That subject, the "wrinkles" of life, has been swirling in my thoughts today. Wrinkles come in all sizes and intensity. They come to all people regardless of status, age and gender. A friend's email note today informed me that she has just been informed her employment will end because of the economy this March. This is a huge wrinkle for her and her family. Many people are facing and enduring that wrinkle. Others have broken dreams related to health, relationships, plans... Newspaper headlines report fires, drug busts, ice storms, droughts, foreclosures...

Many of the people whose lives are shared in scripture had serious "wrinkles" during their lifetime. Joseph, Job, Esther, Jonah, Daniel and David come to mind. This subject took me to the book of Psalms. David wrote in
Psalm 9: 9, 10...
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken
those who seek you.
I see three things here which require my attention -
  1. know your name
  2. trust in you
  3. seek you
Are these difficult? They do require intentional pursuit and commitment. But what is the promise for those who accomplish these things? The Lord has never forsaken those who seek him. What an encouragement when we are in the midst of life's "wrinkles." There will be troubles as these verses say but we have the Lord in whom we can place our trust as we experience the messy wrinkles of life.

No comments: