Name three scenes from movies that were so scary, you still have occasional flashbacks.
Ø To this day, I cringe upon seeing a flock of birds sitting, watching, and waiting. Do you remember hundreds of them attacking school children in Alfred Hitchcock’s, “The Birds?”
Ø Whenever I hit the beach and enter the water… something in me looks for a telltale fin and the familiar musical cadence begins… dum-dum, dum-dum. You guessed it: “Jaws.”
Ø Do you remember “The Marathon Man?” Dustin Hoffman is strapped in a dentist’s chair while Sir Lawrence Olivier, the villain, stands over his open mouth with a drill and says, “Tell me everything…” You hear the whirring sound as Dustin Hoffman… “screams!”
I had a chance to relive all three scenes recently while waiting in the dentist office. The birds were perched on the chairs watching, waiting and the familiar musical cadence began… dum-dum, dum-dum as I heard the nurse call my name. Suddenly I was strapped in the chair, looking up helplessly as the “mad” dentist held a whirring drill over my mouth and said, “Tell me everything!”
I’m kidding but I did go to the local dentist for root canal surgery. I couldn’t stop my overactive imagination. Every time he placed that drill near my mouth, I wanted to… “scream! Oh that hurts!”
“Come on Larry, you’re being a wimp!” Yes, I know. He was an excellent dentist who took great pains (poor word choice) to do everything just right… so far! But he could make a mistake! After all, he’s only human. Something could distract him. The drill could slip! Couldn’t it? Ouch!!
Actually, the surgery went well with no complications but for two long hours the future of my mouth was dependent upon someone else’s skills. I had no choice but to place my teeth and my trust in the hands of another. I hate to admit this, but trust does not come easily for me.
A dictionary defines trust as: “a confident reliance on the integrity, honesty or justice of another; faith.” Trust for me is a confident reliance on the skills of my dentist. Trust for you may be…
Ø … beginning a new relationship after a messy break-up.
Ø … preparing yourself for needed surgery.
Ø … allowing your children appropriate freedoms and responsibilities.
Ø … giving God more control over your life.
Trust would best describe Jesus’ attitude while approaching the end of his earthly life and ministry. Shortly after a last meal with disciples and friends, Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” Jesus knew about the suffering to come yet in the end placed his confident reliance on the integrity, honesty and justice of God. There can be no greater trust.
Jesus’ prayer was answered, not by having the suffering removed but by receiving strength. “An angel from heaven came down and strengthened him.” (Luke 22:43) It was enough. Even on the cross Jesus’ last sentence was from Psalm 31:5: “I entrust my spirit into your hand…” in other words, I place my total trust and confident reliance in God.
Some other Biblical examples of trust:
– “That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son or God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him.” (Hebrews 4:14)
– “Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (Hebrews 10:23)
– “For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory.” (1 John 5:4)
In other words: “We have Jesus to cling too. God can be trusted to keep His promise. We defeat evil by trusting Christ to give the victory.” What about you? Are you learning to trust others? How much do you trust God? Learning to trust is a critical part of faith. So, the next time I go to the dentist office, I may still relive a few horror movie scenes but I’ll do my best not to… “scream!”