By Dora Reader

I was in my usual seat in the band area, swabbing out my clarinet and putting it in the case. My friend Amy Logan came to where I was seated. She handed me a package with a surprise gift. I opened the package, and there was a framed sketch of a lamb being held tenderly by a man.

The sketch just showed the lamb’s face and the face and arm of the man. Under the sketch was a verse from the Bible: Hebrews 13:5 in the Amplified Bible. It read, “for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]”

Amy and I have shared some of our daily struggles and joys in life in our walk with God. She knew this verse was just what I would appreciate. I thanked Amy for her thoughtful gift. I took it home and gazed at the comforting picture and verse.

The next day I was scheduled to go for my semi-annual appointment with the dental hygienist to have my teeth cleaned. I deal with anxiety about going for anything at the dentist’s office. Cleanings are unpleasant because I have a mouth filled with dental work.

My earliest experiences of getting cavities fixed took place for five years before my dentist started using any local anesthetic like Novocain. In addition, the drills were heavy and ground slowly. As a child, I would scream when the dentist approached me with the drill. Fast forward several decades to 2013, and the anxiety still tends to arise.

As I drove into the dentist’s parking lot, I said a prayer, “Dear Lord, I give you any and all anxiety that I feel. Please take it away, and help me to trust in You alone.”

When I sat down in the hygienist’s chair, and opened my mouth, the image of the lamb in the shepherd’s arms came to mind. I focused on the image and mentally recited Hebrews 13:5 while she scraped plaque from under my gums.

When I sat down in the hygienist’s chair, and opened my mouth, the image of the lamb in the shepherd’s arms came to mind.

I prayed the Lord’s Prayer—my favorite prayer for medical/dental situations. Then I recited the Twenty Third Psalm a number of times. I recited other verses, including Colossians 3:3 “… I am hid with Christ in God…”

By the end of the appointment, after enduring some uncomfortable moments, my teeth were fresh and clean. I left the appointment with a light heart, feeling spiritually refreshed, after spending what was really a time of prayer and meditation with God. The Lord provides.