Physician, Heal Thyself

I sat at the dinner table earlier today and let my tongue explore the new sensation in my mouth.  A sharp edge that very definitely had not been there a few moments before caught the side of the exploring organ and let me know there was something very different. Painfully so.

I have broken the side off of one of my molars. 

It is not a happy discovery.  And, as my mind considers the possibilities—indeed, the probabilities—for the future, I sink rapidly in an almost depressed state.

At least, I would sink into that state if it were not for a thought that strikes me at about the same time as the inclination to be unhappy.  The thought actually makes me laugh now.

No, my tooth still hurts a bit.  My tongue is still rubbed raw where the jagged edge of the tooth abrades it at every opportunity.  

Yet, the thought remains.

A young man sat at that same table with me less than a week ago and had a similar experience. A crust of his pizza chipped a tooth in his mouth.  His reaction was much the same as mine, albeit a little more visible to the others in the room.

dentist-797305_1920Frightened at what the near future would hold, he shed a few tears and let out a few moans.  His mom attempted to allay his fears, but still, he wondered about what would happen.

Before my company left that evening, I wrapped my arms around the young man’s shoulder and encouraged him that most things we face are not nearly as bad as we imagine.  

God takes care of us.  In a week or two, you won’t even remember this happened.

Even as my memory of the event sharpens into focus, I find myself arguing.  I have other problems, too.  There are schedules to meet and expenses to pay.  Appointments must be kept. This is too much!

It’s too much.

I’m chuckling to myself as I write.  As if my problems are any worse than that young man’s.  What arrogance!

Do I believe my words to him or not?  

Does God take care of us or not?

The young man and I will both make trips to our dentist this week.  I firmly believe my words to him.  Still, I wonder why my first thought at the sign of a problem was to fret about it.  It’s not like this is my first time around this particular block.

And, as my mind calms regarding my dental problems, the eyes of my heart begin to see other things more clearly: Things which have taken over my thoughts and my life over the last few days and weeks.

They are disastrous problems, to my mind anyway.  I want nothing more than to turn back the clock and undo the process by which they appeared in my life.

Schemes and plans and worries consume me as I attempt to see a way through the troubles.

Somehow, I have to figure this out!  

I sit here thinking, and with my tongue I worry the sharp edge of my broken tooth absent-mindedly.  

Ow!  That’s painful!

And stupid.  

I don’t have to worry the tooth at all; it’s just a natural reaction to things not being as they should be in my mouth.

Do I need to write any more words here?  Even though I have a multitude of thoughts to share on this subject, I’m nearly certain I’ve said enough.

Nearly certain.

The Teacher asked,  “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27 ~ NASB)

Maybe it’s time for me to take my own advice to the youngster.  It was, after all, passed on to me many years ago by folks much wiser than I.

God takes care of us.  He’s got this.  And me.

He’ll do the same for you.  

In a week or two, we won’t even remember this happened.




Not half the storms that threatened me 
     E’er broke upon my head,
Not half the pains I’ve waited for 
     E’er racked me on my bed.
Not half the clouds that drifted by 
     Have overshadowed me
Nor half the dangers ever came 
     I fancied I could see.
(Anonymous~circa 1900)


Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
(John 14:27 ~ NASB)




© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2015. All Rights Reserved. 


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