As I sat in the dentist’s chair, I braced myself for the drilling that would begin my root canal. I was ready for the worst, and my body language and facial expression exposed my sense of dread. The dentist looked at me and smiled, saying, “It’s okay, Bill. Try to relax.”

That isn’t easy to do. It is actually very difficult to try (requiring effort and exertion) to relax (requiring an absence of effort and exertion). Try and relax just don’t seem to fit together—not only in the dentist’s chair, but in the spiritual realm as well.

Far too often I don’t limit my efforts of resistance to visits at the dentist’s office. In my relationship with Christ, I find myself not pressing for God’s purposes but for my own interests. In those moments, the hardest thing for me to do is “try to relax” and genuinely trust God for the outcome of life’s trials.

In Psalm 46:10, we read, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” In the moments when my heart is anxious, this verse reminds me to “be still, and know.” Now, if I can only put that into practice and rest confidently in His care, I’ll be at peace.