Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Truth That Wounds, Truth That Heals

by Dean Gardner

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me and lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139:23-24, NASB

My wife Gemma and I were recently able to have dental check-ups after a three-year gap of not seeing a dentist, the result of restrictions during Covid and a shortage of dentists in the United Kingdom. I had been experiencing some discomfort with my teeth and knew I needed them checked, but after my check-up I was surprised to be told by our new dentist that there was no need for any treatment at this time.

I must admit I was relieved at the news, as I would definitely describe myself as a nervous dental patient, but I couldn’t quite understand why I had been experiencing discomfort beforehand. I was given an appointment in six months for my next check-up not completely sure about my dentist’s evaluation. Time will tell.

My personal experiences over the years with medical professionals has been quite positive, but I have occasionally heard of dentists and doctors who have told their patients that there was nothing wrong with them, only for those patients to later find out that they had serious conditions.

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis recalls his experiences of toothache as a child. He knew that his mother would give him some aspirin which would deaden the pain for that night and let him get to sleep, but he didn’t ask her for that aspirin until the pain was very bad, because he knew that, in the morning, she would take him to the dentist. He wrote, ‘I wanted immediate relief from pain: but I could not get it without having my teeth set permanently right. And I knew those dentists! I knew they started fiddling about with all sorts of other teeth which had not started to ache.

If we are honest, we wouldn’t really want a doctor or dentist who told us everything was fine, if it wasn’t. C.S. Lewis, in his example above, was making the comparison with a person coming to Jesus with issues in their life that cause them pain and distress, but not wanting Him to address other issues that they didn’t want changed. The problem is that Jesus isn’t satisfied just to mend and heal the areas we want fixed. He wants to touch every part of our lives. We have to be willing for Him to be Lord of all and not just a part.

Medical treatment of any sort can be painful, but worthwhile if the result is healing and cure. Sometimes the Lord’s dealings in our lives can also be painful, but, like a good physician, His motive is to bring healing and wholeness to our hearts. The truth He speaks into our lives may wound, but will also heal. Proverbs 27:6 tells us that ‘wounds from a friend can be trusted’ (NIV).

Jesus is the best friend we could ever have. It’s safe to pray the prayer in our verses from Psalm 139 today. You can trust Him if it’s a prayer you’ve been hesitant to pray.

Dean Gardner worked part time in the Ellel Grange Ministry Office for four and a half years until October 2018 and is now part of the Associate teaching and ministry team. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife Gemma. In 1988 he experienced God`s amazing grace at a carol service and began a journey of restoration and healing with Jesus. He longs to continue that journey allowing God`s truth to change his own life but also to share that truth with others that they too might know Jesus for themselves.


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