Monday, February 12, 2007


I walked into C-Dental X-ray Clinic. I had been there many times before for numerous jaw and bite X-rays. I was prepared to spend the next hour being reminded that all my dental work is far from being finished. I was not happy on the inside and I knew it was showing on the outside. The secretary greeted me and took my name and then made a face that foreshadowed some bad news. "Oh, I am sorry Mr. Gapastione. I have a note that we misquoted you on the phone. The price will actually be $100 more than we thought."

$540? I was ticked. I was ticked because not only is that a huge chunk of cash that insurance doesn't cover a dime, this unexpected hit wasn't good for our budget. This was hard to swallow, but what could I do I needed this work done and I had no choice. I paid and started the procedures. I was feeling so low and discouraged. During the whole experience I was feeling even guilty. I wanted to be conversational with the lab techs and "let my light shine," but I let my feelings dictate my actions. I walked out of there feeling as if I had failed, as if God had given me this opportunity to choose joy regardless of my circumstances, but instead I sulked thinking back to last week where I spent five endless hours in a gnarly head gear that also purposed to find some more reason for me to WAIT and dish out more cash for the thorn in my side (See ridiculous picture below).

That's when I was reminded, again, of an important spiritual concept that it seems God is teaching me.

Faith first.
Hope Follows.

My carnal nature leads me to doubt, discouragement, and hopelessness. When posed with difficult situations, or seemingly frustrating circumstances my first response is to doubt, be filled with discouragement or anger, and withdraw.

But I believe this phrase was spoken into my mind. by God: Faith first hope will follow. When I consciously choose to respond in faith, I usually find myself being hopeful.

To respond in faith means that I must claim God's words and promises when my own thinking can't see past the challenge.

For instance: My flesh says: My life is very challenging with these dental/mouth issues! My faith first response says: God will work this out and make it good.

My flesh says: I have a month to wait until my next appt? That seems like forever. Instead my faith first response is: I will cling to Jesus and have hope as the anchor to my soul.

When necessary and unavoidable medical or emergency bills seems inevitably to increase while our budget cuts in half, my faith first response will say,"God will provide all I need according to the glorious riches of Christ."


I think what I have just described is again one of the fundamental truths of Christianity. God will give us all we need to live a Godly life. We can choose the joy of the Lord as our Strength. Our beliefs will produce behavior. It's like one of those old school little "Bible Promise books." Even though I have written them off as cheesy, I really shouldn't judge it just by it's cover (I never have seen one that looks "cool.")what matters is that it uses scripture to bring hope by clearly communicating God's promises to us.

He will never leave us or forsake us. We can/must take that truth into every situation and believe it so that we be hopeful and joyful people. The contrary and only other option is that if we don't, nothing but hopelessness and despair will grip our lives.


No comments: