As we think back over our dental history, there are times that we absolutely know that something's so wrong that we have to immediately go to the dentist. Here's my personal list - you's may be different.
Part - something happened and all of a sudden, something very hard appeared in my mouth. My tongue immediately felt it and I instantly recognized that it didn't belong there. It felt huge. My first thought was "what is it? quickly followed by "don't swallow it."
Parts - similar to Part, but this is where a bunch of pieces materialized out of nowhere in my mouth. The parts were all different shapes and sized, but they were all really hard. One time it felt that someone shoved a pinch of sand in my mouth.
Pain - I don't know what it is about our mouth and the way God made it, but there's got to be an overload of whatever makes us feel pain in there. I've experienced a lot of different kinds of pains in all sorts of different places in my body, but the pain in my mouth was a "10" and not in a good way either.
When these things happened, no one had to tell me. I didn't need a text from some faraway guru or an app on my phone. I didn't need to attend a master class video series to figure it out. There was no need for a degree from some organization specializing in dental trauma.
Everyone of us are in this same boat. When a tooth cracked or a filling fell out, we knew it. We didn't have to talk with anyone else. There was no doubt about it. We personally experienced it and no one was going to tell us otherwise. No one was going to talk us out of it. No one was going to talk us down from getting help immediately.
It funny. We immediately know when somethings wrong with our teeth and we'll move heaven and earth to see a dentist. We'll cancel or reschedule anything so we can get out teeth looked at and fixed. Nothing will stand in our way when we experience a Part, Parts, or Pain in our mouth.
And yet, when it comes to the brokenness in our life, the brokenness in our soul, we'll delay like there's no tomorrow. No excuse is to weak or flimsy not to push back dealing with the emotional and relational brokenness we all experience.
Let's be clear, the emotional pain of a broken relationship, betrayal by a spouse or parent, is nothing short of agony. And then there's the internal torture and anguish we feel when we've been the one who's hurt the one we love. There's no novocaine that can ease those pains of the heart.
It's at this very point that God deeply desires to show up. To comfort us. To give himself as the payment for sin. To remove the cause of our pain and start the healing process.
But like a dentist, God doesn't force his way into our life. He's not some evil dentist that's going to pry our mouth open against our will. No, God already there and waits for us to take a step. God's patient and pauses until we do something.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:20 ESV
God's job is to be available and wait. Your job, my job, is to hear his voice and open ourselves to him as God . Opening up the door of our life invites Jesus to come in and to sit down with us. He listens to us. He hears what we're saying and gets even the words that we refuse to immediately speak. He provides complete forgiveness and power to change.
We don't need a dental degree to figure this one out. All we need is a broken spirit - that part's easy. Then, we open the door to our heart for healing and restoration to begin - that's the hard part. Admitting that our wounds are as real as our need.
So, what's stopping us?