I’ve recently experienced having to visit our dental practice a number of times, first to have a tooth extracted after three days of extreme pain, and then to have treatment for an infection of the socket where the tooth once sat.
This morning I returned again for another appointment because of continuing pain in my gum and jaw. My wife Gemma and I prayed before we left for the appointment, and I asked that the Lord would enable the dentist to see any underlying cause of the ongoing pain I was experiencing, nearly three weeks after my tooth was extracted.
I asked Him to bring into the light anything that was hidden, and, reflecting on a devotional by Charles Spurgeon that we had just read, I also prayed that He’d do the same with anything in my heart that needed to be brought into the light as well.
When I saw the dentist she took an x-ray, which showed that the infection in the tooth socket was now healing, but there was decay in the wisdom tooth next to the site of the extraction. This meant I now needed to have that removed as well.
When we arrived home I remembered my earlier prayer that anything hidden would be revealed. The Lord had answered that prayer, although I didn’t really like what had been revealed, and the action that needed to be taken. Yet I need to be grateful that the decay in my wisdom tooth has been revealed. Staying ignorant of its condition would only delay the inevitable need for treatment. I would face another experience of extreme pain when the decay finally showed itself.
`Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!’ (Psalm 139:23-24). David’s desire to walk in purity before God was greater than the cost of any action that might need to be taken if the Lord revealed hidden sin and wrong motives. He’d had painful experience of not dealing with sin previously in his life.
To be honest, I can struggle when the Lord shows me hurtful and sinful things in my heart, but I know that He’s revealing those things because He loves me too much to allow spiritual decay to eat away at my life, until it finally surfaces causing great pain to myself and others.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You know everything about me, and Your will is that I walk in Your everlasting ways, Your paths of righteousness. Please show me anything in my heart or life that causes You pain, and help me to allow You to cleanse me, and heal me, and to set me free. In Your name I pray. Amen.
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