I recently received a call from my dentist’s office, wanting to know when I would like to schedule my next cleaning and procedure. I knew I needed a cleaning in October, but I questioned her about “the procedure.” She “reminded” me that I needed prep done for my new crown. The only problem I could see with that was that I wasn’t scheduled to receive a crown! Of any kind! After some discussion regarding what my chart said, she finally scheduled me for a cleaning in October and said I could discuss the crown when I saw the dentist. I have no idea what went wrong there, but, yes, I will be speaking about that with my dentist the next time I see him. In October. For a cleaning. That’s all!
Years ago, I went to see my ophthalmologist. It was before I was married, so of course I went in under my maiden name, Linda Johnson. Do you have any idea how many pages of Johnsons there are in the phone book? Let me just say, a LOT more than VanderWiers! So I could understand how the confusion back then could have happened. But I was still surprised when the eye doctor asked how I’d been doing since my recent eye surgery. Needless to say, I hadn’t had any eye surgery. Evidently there were two Linda Johnsons in his records. He had the wrong chart.
Mistakes happen. I get that. At least I was awake and conscious when those incidents took place. We have all heard horror stories of mistakes taking place in the operating room. I have not had anything like that happen. But I do remember going in for knee and foot surgery several years ago. I was also having the last in a series of injections in the other knee done while I was under anesthesia. (Why not?) As I was being prepped for surgery, the surgeon took a blue-inked, rubber stamp and plopped a mark on both knees and my foot. I looked at the marks, I looked at the doctor, and then I looked back at the marks. All the marks were the same! So, of course, I mentioned that very obvious point to the doctor. Better safe than sorry, you know.
“Um, those marks are all the same. How are you going to remember what you’re doing at each place?” He patiently rehearsed his plans for each site with me, pointing to the correct one each time. That little chat moderately consoled me, but my relief was not complete until I awoke following the surgeries to find all well.
Those mistakes are often referred to as “human error.” We can find ourselves on either side of those errors at any time. Sometimes we make mistakes; sometimes we receive the mistakes. Neither feels good! Often, the effect of this type of error will only bring a chuckle or a moment of confusion or embarrassment. At other times, the effects can be devastating. At times, words cannot erase what has happened. The effects cannot be laughed away. There will never come a time when the scenario will be looked back upon as funny. Irreparable hurt and damage will remain.
But here’s the good news! (You knew I’d have some, didn’t you?) As a believer, I have the utmost confidence that God will never, ever make a mistake! In the first place, He KNOWS my name! He will never pull the wrong chart! Isaiah 43:1 comforts me in this way: “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” Jeremiah 29:11 also explains the intimately personal nature of God’s plans for my life. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you [not just anyone, but toward ME], saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
According to II Samuel 22:31, He will make no mistake. “As for God, His way is perfect.” He is God. That fact alone makes Him incapable, so to speak, of making a mistake, of “goofing up,” or of anything even close to the human errors I am so prone to make. “For God is not the author of confusion.” (I Corinthians 14:33)
What great assurance I find in knowing God will never be confused! He speaks to me by my name and works in my life perfectly to perform His will. So tonight, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” God’s got this! There’s no mistake about it!