AAAAARRGGHHH!!!!

Well, the last few days have been interesting to say the least.

Last night, I was ready to take a pair of pliers and yank this STUPID tooth out myself. I had called a few places for “emergency” dental appointments–the earliest I can get in to a dentist is Tuesday. And here I was thinking an emergency would be dealt with within 24-48 hours.

So that meant I had to get creative. Even taking two of the strongest pain pills I own was an exercise in futility. I cried for an hour because the pain was so severe. My husband and both kids attempted to comfort me, to no avail. My sweet son even cried because he was upset at seeing me cry 😦

Then, taking the advice of one of my church members and after reading up on it on the Internet, I went to GNC and purchased a little bottle of clove oil. I was hesitant about it as soon as I opened it–it smelled like potpourri. I should have stuck with my gut. I used a Q-tip and put some on my gum and tooth, and it numbed me up pretty good–for about 15-20 minutes, then the shooting pain came right back. So on my second application, I messed around and dropped some of the crap on my face. It burnt my skin like bacon. I now have a dark discolored spot on my cheek, right next to my mouth. My brief relationship with clove oil is over. I had so much hope, too. People on the Internet were hailing it to be a miracle solution to tooth pain. I will pass at this point. That was yesterday, and my face still feels hot and raw.

I got fed up and went into the bathroom and went through my usual pain-alleviating ceremony: Warm mouthwash for a minute or two, soft-bristled toothbrush massage, application after application after application of gel Orajel, and liquid Orajel… to no avail. Then I noticed there was a void in my tooth, right where the pain was… A pretty good sized cavity. I took a small piece of tissue, drenched it in Orajel, stuck it in there…and it felt GREAT.

I have never had a cavity before, but I have had enough experience with dental procedures and orthodontia in particular to know that cavities need to be filled. So I made my own temporary filling today–at first I tried baking soda, Vaseline, and Fixodent, but that was entirely too much STUFF, so now I’m content with just the Fixodent. I am still having a bit of pain but I feel much better and have not yet had to cry it out for an hour 🙂

Being the eternal optimist, I immediately found the good in this situation. First I thanked God for enabling me to determine the problem and find temporary relief!! Second, I made a realization that part of my tooth decay is my own fault. Yes, it would help if I had dental insurance and had regular checkups–an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But I have a terrible, shameful addiction that I cannot seem to kick. I can go without the stuff for a day or two, but that is all…

I am a Pepsi FIEND. If Pepsi was water and water was Pepsi, I’d be one of the healthiest people ever.

I stopped and thought about the consequences of my overindulgence in a “harmless” little soft drink. Yes, there are worse things I can be drinking–there are worse things I used to drink, anyway. So while drinking a Pepsi is a step up from drinking Hennessey, I can no longer use that to discount the deleterious effects pop has on my health.

I had to remind myself of a few things:

1. My parents paid a ton of money for this smile. The least I can do is take care of it. (I had braces for several years).

2. Diabetes runs in my family, so I really ought to cut down on my sugar intake ANYWAY. I usually drink caffeine-free Pepsi as opposed to regular, but a can of caffeine-free Pepsi has 28 grams of sugar, 100 empty calories,  and 28 grams of carbohydrates total, while an equivalent regular Pepsi has 160 calories, zero nutritional content and 41 grams of sugar!!! YIKES!!! From what I understand, anything that has more than 10 grams per 100 grams of the substance is probably not a healthy choice.

3. The pop consumption is probably reason numero uno why I cannot get rid of these last super-pesky baby pounds, which are namely concentrated in my mid-section.

Will I completely give up pop? I don’t know. I know now that it is partially responsible for the degradation of my pearly whites, it is detrimental to my weight loss goal, it has no nutritional content whatsoever, and with my family history of diabetes, I probably should avoid it at all costs. I suppose I should do like I did with alcohol–I admittedly do not have the willpower to just quit cold-turkey. I will have to taper off. But it must be done.

I left off in Genesis in just about the middle of chapter 21, after Sarah has become pregnant with her son. Gen. 21 concludes with a Treaty at Beersheba. I like this passage of Scripture because it illustrates Abimelech’s fear and respect for Abraham’s God. Think of what Abraham had done–his lie had brought infertility upon Abimelech’s household and could have cost him his life! Yet, Abimelech requests a covenant of sorts with Abraham. He reminds Abraham how he was treated well while he was in his land, yet Abraham tells him that one of his servants had taken possession of a well he had dug. Abimelech claims to not know anything about that, and Abraham appears to let it go. Abraham instead brings Abimelech sheep and cattle and the two men make a pact. One might wonder why Abraham waited to bring up the well?? In this case, he had the upper hand and was bound to get a better response from Abimelech than if he would have mentioned it prior. Remember, Abimelech feared and respected Abraham’s God, and thus feared and respected Abraham.

Notice that Abraham set apart 7 ewe. The number 7 is one of those numbers that shows up repeatedly in the Bible, along with 3 (the Trinity), 40, (40 days and 40 nights of flood), 12 (12 tribes, 12 disciples), and several others. Seven is associated with completion or perfection–the examples that stand out most in my limited mind are that creation occurred in seven days and in the New Testament, in the Revelation, we read about the 7 churches in Asia Minor. There are other fascinating discussions about Bible numerology, but I am not really a numbers person. Which is why I have always sucked at math.

The sheep were to signify that Abraham was being truthful about his ownership of the well, and Abimelech accepts the sheep.

Genesis 22 is GOOD, GOOD STUFF. Abraham faces a test I definitely would have failed. Now, in my mind, Abraham makes up for his lack of faith in other chapters… God tells him to take Isaac to Mt. Moriah and sacrifice him.

What would you have done? Here is the son you have literally waited a hundred years for. Would you do it, or would you ask God to take you instead? Or would you ignore the command altogether? And I wonder if Abraham mentioned to Sarah what he intended on doing? Surely she would have had a fit if she knew her only son was going to be killed, right? I wonder if a conversation between Abraham and Sarah took place–I believe one did. I’ll explain why.

After God commands Abraham to take Isaac to Mt. Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering, Abraham prepares a donkey, two servants, wood, and, of course, Isaac

Verse 6 provides us with an interesting morsel of information that I just found out about today! I have read it before, but obviously did not pay attention to something that is key:

“On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance”.

So this journey to Mt. Moriah took three days. This is why i believe Sarah had to have been told something. Although Isaac is thought to have been in his thirties, I still look at this passage through MOMMY colored lenses. Wouldn’t she have wanted to know why her son and husband were leaving for three days?

Again, notice that number: Three (or third). During those three days, Abraham certainly probably thought his son’s days were numbered. But if that was the case, how would God fulfill his promise to make Abraham a great nation through Isaac? Well, Abraham must have been confident that God would somehow raise Isaac up.

Watch this–Isaac is a type of Christ. How so?

Abraham had Isaac carry the wood to the sacrificial location. Did not Jesus carry His own cross?

Isaac asks his father, “so where is the lamb we are supposed to be sacrificing”? To which Abraham replies, “God will provide the lamb.” Didn’t God provide us with our own Sacrificial Lamb, the only sinless Man with the perfect qualifications for the assignment?

Abraham builds the offer and Isaac, who obviously trusts God himself, appears to lay on it willingly to be slaughtered. Abraham was an OLD man, and Isaac was in his thirties, probably in impeccable condition. I am sure he could have overtaken his father. Jesus could have called upon the host of angels to rebuke His accusers. But, like Jesus, Isaac was more concerned that God’s will be done. Remember what Jesus said on the cross?? In Luke 22:42, Jesus prays “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine”. Isaac, like Jesus, willingly laid Jesus down (regardless of what Jesus’s assassins thought, they did not kill Him–He gave up the ghost for you and me!).

Again, look at the fact that the journey took three days. For three days Abraham was left to ponder his son’s death and the ways God would fulfill his promise. On the third day, Isaac was “raised up” in a way–his death sentence was over and he was restored.

Another point: Mt. Moriah is Mt. Calvary, where Our Lord and Savior became our Sacrificial Lamb!

Abraham and Isaac were alone during this exchange–the servants were not there. In a sense, this also makes Isaac a type of Christ, as during Jesus’s death, Father and Son were there together.

That is why this story is also one of my Biblical favorites! Abraham had had lapses in faith before, but this story shows that his faith had NO boundaries at this point! I would have failed this one, I admit. I do think Abraham’s combined experiences, including the times which he took matters into his own hands, screwed the situation up and needed God’s rectifying hand (each time he lied about Sarah’s relationship to him, for example), he was able to see firsthand exactly what God could do and how God was always in control. I think it is safe to say by the time this passage of Scripture comes along, Abraham is fully convinced and convicted. His trust in God can be made no more obvious than by his willing participation in the possible sacrifice of his beloved son.

Can you think of a bigger test of faith than that one?? I definitely cannot. As the story goes, an angel called out from heaven and told Abraham not to kill Isaac. Abraham immediately retrieves a ram from the thicket nearby and sacrifices it–probably with much joy–instead of Isaac. God lets Abraham know he has passed the test:

“I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sands on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies…” (Gen. 22: 16-17).

C’mon. Tell me that is not a good read.

The story of Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac is fascinating. One thing that should be taken away from this is that God tests us in order to build up our spiritual muscle. Satan tempts us to weaken our spiritual muscle. Think about the ramifications of each–We pass God’s test, we are blessed for it. We fall prey to Satan’s temptation, sin removes us from the realm of God. God never tries to lead us into a mess!

Well, the tooth is hurting, which lets me know I need to fill ‘er up again. But this is a good place to end–Gen. 22 concludes with more genealogy, starting with Abraham’s brother Nahor. Not much else there 🙂

Father, Thank you for this day. Thank you for allowing me and everyone I hold dear to me see the completion of the day. I am here watching my babies sleep, and I just love you for loving me more than I’ve ever loved myself, for knowing what I need and when, and for providing for me. I pray right now that you will keep us safe while we slumber, and allow no hurt harm or danger to come our way this evening. Father I thank you for insight, and I ask that you continue to enlighten me, and please do not allow me to write a single incorrect word on this blog that may confuse your sons or daughters! Father I thank you for the opportunity to use writing, which I love, to discuss you, who I love! Please bless and protect those who read this, and I pray that you provide comfort for those going through times of bereavement, sickness, or distress. I just thank you God for everything that you have done for me! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen and thank God.

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