Inspirational Musings

Spiritual Anbesol

Today in Sunday school the comment was made that as Christians we often become numb to who God is and what He has done for us. It made me think about my son when he is teething. See, he has this magic ointment that we rub on his gums when he is teething. When those teeth try to break through, he is miserable, but as soon as he gets that magic stuff scrubbed around in his mouth, his gums go numb and the pain subsides.

The problem with being numb is that you don’t feel anything. “Anything” could include good sensations as well as painful ones. I remember going to the dentist and getting a root canal last December (fun stuff right there!). The last sensation I felt was the needle containing the numbing agent going into my gums. I was fully aware that they were working on my mouth (the sight of those huge drill bits was proof enough!). I felt general pressure, but couldn’t pinpoint anything. I knew that the dentist was at work, but had no idea where specifically because I couldn’t feel anything. After the procedure, I knew my lips were dry, so I reached in my pocket and began to apply some chapstick. I tried to rub my lips together and smear the balm on my lips more evenly, but I couldn’t get my mouth to work. I couldn’t feel the good stuff either! 

So, back to the comment made in Sunday school. I completely agree. Oftentimes, we pick up Spiritual Anbesol and apply it to our eyes, ears, and heart. We become numb to what God is doing in our lives and around us. Just like the dentist, I think we are aware that He is working, but because we are numb, we have no idea where or how intensely. When we are numb, we miss out on God and His daily blessings. We get so wrapped up in feeling no pain that we also feel no joy. Our vision is tunneled and our hearts stagnant.

Spiritual Anbesol is dangerous and is usually applied when we get wrapped up in ourselves (our stuff, desires, wants, relationships, jobs, religion, responsiblities, etc.). We forget to thank God for where He brought us from. We forget what our lives were like before Christ set us free from a life of sin by His perfect and matchless grace.  We forget what he’s already done in our lives. The fact that we have a home, a car, a job, a family, our health, and our friends is huge in and of itself! We forget that God loves us and sends blessings to us everyday. Maybe it’s in the form of a rainbow or the sweet words of a child. Maybe it’s when it’s time to pay bills and somehow He meets each and every need.

Think about the state of your heart this week. As Pastor Jackie spoke about this morning, we need to live a life of thankfulness. Have you applied Spiritual Anbesol to your heart? If so, ask God to make the numbness go away. Begin thanking Him for the good things and even the bad. Instead of whining or complaining, find something to stand in awe about and praise God for (all you have to do is look past yourself!). After a while, numbness will cease to exist and instead a heart filled with joy will spill out to those you come in contact with.

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2 thoughts on “Spiritual Anbesol”

  1. Oh, yes!! So, true and you know this has me thinking. That “Spiritual Anbesol” we (I’m gonna use we instead of I so it feels like a party and I’m not the only one:), apply that so often to try to protect ourselves from hurt, but really it’s just a pride thing, don’t you think? We don’t want others to see our junk or see our hurt so we cover it up. Kinda like using we instead of I!!

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    1. I’m right there with you, Sonya. Hurt is something that is very hard to deal with. If we pretend it’s not there, or numb our hearts, then we don’t have to even acknowledge it. I agree, pride is a major factor. If we let our guards down and let others see us when we hurt, we are vulnerable. We also avoid feeling hurt and dealing with tough stuff because of the fear of learning hard truths about ourselves, making difficult decisions, and having to confronting others .

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