Simple lesson on pain

I have to tell you I have been ignoring a chipped tooth for a few months now – Instead of a dentist I have been spending more time brushing, gargling with listerine more frequently, but procrastinating that trip to the expensive and painful dentist…. until last weekend. It started with “ooh, that was far too cold of water” and “oooh, that hot tea really felt harsh on my tooth”…. and quickly progressed to facial swelling, ear pain and the dreaded I word …. Infection. I knew it was bad when I sat in church and could feel electrical pulses of pain running from my jaw and ear to my face…. eeeek!

So a quick diagnosis of ear infection, and sinus infection, and a scolding that I need to get to the dentist to resolve that chipped, and now cracked tooth was all it took to drop me to a dysfunctional state for a few days.

Pain is something I am learning to accept as part of life… especially on this sin scarred earth… everything ages, falls apart, breaks down. And I am reminded that pain is something that the Lord understood in great detail as he died an excrutiating death… but this pain was partly from my neglect, my procrastination, my lack of willingness to just get it taken care of then and there when the tooth chipped.

Then it hit me…. my tooth incident is alot like small and simple sin…. seems like it is quite minor, but under the surface no sin is minor or harmless. Like the disease process that infection goes through there is a progression…. not noticable at first, then bam! you are engulfed in it. Sin can often capture ground in our souls quickly, and take us to painful places we don;t need to experience. An old friend always was famous for saying “Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you could afford.” Hmm, sadly very true.

So my little tooth pain has been a noticable reminder to keep short accounts of sin, to confess everything and to take care of things as they occur to prevent bigger issues down the road. In the medical world it also means I need to get to the dentist in real time, and not procrastinate either.

Thank you Lord for the invention of antibiotics, and for your kind hand of healing on my body and my soul. And thank you for object lessons in my real life. I ask your forgiveness for my procrastinating and thank you that you teach us your ways. Amen


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