Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pardon me Lord...But Are You With Us....?

I woke up to what appeared to be a regular day. And then my temporary crown came off (again) as I was brushing my teeth. Instead of panicking, which is my usual tactic in the face of pain, I angrily shoved the crown back on. It stayed. I called the dentist when they opened an hour later, and made an appointment to have it glued on (again). I have very sensitive teeth, and the whole process of replacing the crown is very painful. Especially when they have to scrape off the old cement that is sticking to the sensitive exposed tooth. After half an hour, I convinced the dentist that we could perhaps leave some of the old cement on...maybe it would help hold the loose temporary crown in place? She concurred. This was good because I didn't know how much more of the electric shocks of pain I could have handled. Since the crown seems to want to fall off, I am not looking forward to the next two weeks before the permanent crown arrives.

My Bible reading that morning was highly appropriate:
Gideon: (Vicky): "Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon (Vicky) replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about ..."
I kid you not. That is what I read.

Sometimes, life doesn't look like what you think it should. Sometimes the rewards and wonders you expect are a long time coming. Sometimes the suffering is more than the blessing. A friend reading the draft of this post thought I was saying, "Why me?" That isn't what I am saying. I understand that pain and suffering comes to all. My point, however clumsily expressed, is that the timing of struggle seems odd at times. It is often when I am doing my utmost for His highest that struggles accelerate, just as Gideon observed. It doesn't make sense from our earthly perspective that when we are in the midst of God's work, He doesn't protect us from getting knocked around. Sometimes, in fact, it seems it is indeed a better gauge that one is moving forward in God's work the *more* trials one encounters! Certainly Jesus Himself experienced that (and believe me, I am not equating a sore tooth to what Jesus endured!)

I staggered out of the dentist office, and went on to do some research for my book at the Charlotte Aviation Library. I felt a little woozy and weak from the stupid tooth ordeal, not up to any physical activity, much as normally I would have loved to kayak on a free afternoon. The threat of rain along with the still very sore tooth convinced me to head off to the tiny, little-known library instead. Four elderly men volunteered at the library. Not another patron was present. They told me that from time to time, people do come in, but I got the sense it was not a regular occurrence. Over the course of my two hours there, I heard many stories from their lives. The men gathered helpfully around me, listened to my research problems and eagerly brought me maps, photos, and books. We put our collective heads together to try to solve the conundrum I had brought them.

As I stood to leave, they asked if I would stay for coffee with them. I had to get back home however, or I would be stuck in rush hour traffic. They all asked if I would let them know when my book was out. And would I send them the link to my other books, as they thought they would like to read them, especially the one about WWII?

"No one cares about history anymore. All this..." said one, sweeping his arm around pointing to the room crammed full of historic books, "And no one is here to learn about it! Too busy playing their video games."
"And the ones who know about it, who can tell them about it, are dying off," said the oldest one there, a WWII bombardier.
I asked if they were familiar with the Atterbury Bakalar Aviation museum.
"It is filled with WWII vets who volunteer; great guys like you," I said.
"Great guys!" they chuckled, "My, my, great guys like us!" They all smiled at each other.

I was suddenly very glad that my sore tooth and the rain had convinced me to head to the Charlotte Aviation library.

Sometimes, not always, you see glimpses of God's provision in the midst of pain. Sometimes you can shove an unglued crown back on all by yourself and the throbbing is dulled. Sometimes the pain even drives you to a place you might not have ended up otherwise. In the midst of turmoil, I must try to remember I am sent by God for purposes I may not always understand.

Judges 6:13,14

[13] “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

Judges 6:14 NIV
[14] The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”


  1. Amen, Vicky! I understand how it feels and I am sure you were a blessing for those men. Sometimes it is like that, through our pain others are 'saved' or graced by God. May that bring some peace in this time of 'storm'. Keep you hand outstretched towards Him and even when we cannot see through the rough rain, keep the faith that He is holding your hand and whole being. Be blessed!

    1. Thank you Olga, I so appreciate that you got what I was trying to say!