Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sometimes you just need a good kick to the jaw

For about two weeks, I've been plagued with fairly severe jaw pain.  It came out of nowhere, and I've never experienced it before.  One side of my jaw hurt like heck if I chewed or opened my mouth.  God forbid I forget to stifle a yawn: ouch!  I finally resorted to Ibuprofen around the clock to deal with the pain.  I don't know if it was TMJ or what.   (I don't even know what that is.  But I used to have a friend who complained about it all the time, and it sounded good.)

I had a visit to the dentist scheduled for some tooth work, so I asked her about it.  She advised me to "rest" the jaw and treat it very carefully.  She told me to eat soft foods, and try not to "stress" the jaw.  Don't open it too wide.  Don't chew hard stuff.  Give it time to heal.  In a word: baby it.

Anyway, two nights ago a certain high-maintenance child of mine (ahem! naming no names!) was up crying at 1:00 in the morning.  What started as a nightmare turned into a little tantrum, and devolved into some kicking and screaming, even though I offered to let the child spend the rest of the night in my bed.  Long story short, I ended up getting kicked in the jaw.  It was an accident, but boy did it hurt!  I thought to myself, "Great. That's the last thing I needed, when I was already hurting."

And then, suddenly the pain was gone.  All the pain.  The next morning I woke up pain-free for the first time in two weeks.  A few days later, the pain hasn't returned.  What on earth??  No clue.  But I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. (har! har!)

And this made me start thinking about how many times in our life we let the status quo dictate our behaviour, even in a really bad situation.  We tiptoe around, try not to disrupt things, and baby it.  But nothing really gets better.  Nothing is actually healing.  How long could we go on like that? 

Maybe forever.

But if we're lucky, suddenly, by our own actions, or something outside ourselves, we may get a swift kick to the jaw, and the situation is relieved.  Knocked back into balance.  And the painful jolt may come in the form of changes that we would never have had the courage to bring about on our own.  (I never would have been willing to get kicked in the jaw, if the choice was up to me!)  But once administered, the blow may have restorative, healing powers that we never saw coming; even if it seems like the last thing we need when we are already hurting.

Is this what Hebrews 12:6 is trying to say?

"Because the Lord disciples the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his [child.]"

I don't know, but it's got me thinking about the other areas of my life where I've already received a good kick to the jaw......or where I may still be needing one.

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