When a young child visits the dentist for the first time, the dentist’s main goal is to help the child get used to the feeling of having their mouth examined. To lessen the fear, the dentist will practice something called a “knee-to-knee examination”—when the child sits on the parent’s lap, facing mom or dad. The dentist’s knees are touching the parent’s knees, creating a small table. With care, the child is tenderly laid back so that the dentist can gently examine the child’s mouth, but the child continues to look at the parent’s face and can hear the parent’s voice the entire time (“When the Toothfairy Won’t Do: Pediatric Patients Need You,” Inside Dentistry 4, no. 5 [May 2008]: 118, https://www.aapd.org/assets/news/upload/2008/2637.pdf). During a stressful or uncomfortable moment, we can practice keeping our eyes on Jesus and listening to his voice, just like the child does during a scary event like a first dental checkup. Sometimes, though, we are too distracted by the stress factors around us to remember to keep our eyes and ears tuned to the voice of God, and that is where our church family steps in and helps point us back to the Father, lifting our face to the one who can truly fight our battles.
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