I had my final procedure for my root canal yesterday. (See previous posts). One of the interesting parts was a device they put in my mouth as the dentist poked into my tooth and roots. The device made sounds that indicated when he had reached the end (I’m assuming on this). That way they could be sure the very ends of the roots had gotten the treatment.
Don’t let this description scare you about root canals. I didn’t have any pain. But I was fearful of pain! That was my main thought as I sat there. I’m afraid there’s going to be pain. I kept being alert for pain. I could tell myself all day long that there won’t be any pain, but I was tense because I feared pain.
Oh, isn’t that how we are in trying to trust God for His work in our lives as He goes to the roots of our unholiness and treats the selfishness and sin? “Consider it all joy my brethren when you encounter various trials…” Joy? But it’s painful! I only want happiness and relief. Over and over again, Scripture tells us to value trials, problems, challenges–because then we’ll need Jesus and we’ll grow in our sanctification.
But this is not good news and we tense up, just wanting to avoid all pain. Yet, God’s little machine is indicating He hasn’t yet been able to get to the root of our sin. There’s more probbing and poking to be done!
Just as the dentist needed to do that probbing and poking in order to save my tooth, God needs to do the probbing and poking through trials and problems in order to clean out sin and give antiobiotics for godliness.
My tooth is a little sore this morning. It got a good working out. And yes, our souls and spirits feel a little “sore” after God has done some work. We feel tender. But this kind of tenderness is good. It’s surrender.
Again, I’m reminded of the prayer I hate to pray and yet I know it’s necessary (and good!), “Lord, do whatever it takes to bring me closer to You.” Why should we be afraid to pray that when being closer to Him is the best thing in the world?