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Teeth and Trials

My teeth hurt. There, that's it; that's the blog post.


(I'm kidding, of course.)


I was at the dentist yesterday afternoon and wow, does that water flosser thing pack a punch. 


I don’t know anyone who really looks forward to getting their teeth cleaned… and scraped… and sprayed. It’s a pretty invasive thing, to have someone picking inside your mouth like that. 


But what’s cool, especially today, is that God taught me a life lesson. While an overhead light was blinding me and someone was rooting around in my mouth:


There is purpose in pain. 


Now, I guess sayings like growing pains and trials produce perseverance, character, and hope kind of allude to this truth, but I’ve never thought of it so starkly before. So plainly. So black and white. 


There’s this rare condition (called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain and Anhidrosis) that, as the name suggests, prevents people from feeling pain. And at first, you might think how amazing that sounds. 


I mean, no broken bones, cuts, sores, sprains? Sign me up!


But then, if you really think about it (or look at case studies, like I did), you’ll quickly realize that this ailment is not, in fact, amazing. 


Because the thing is, this condition doesn’t prevent injury, it just mutes the pain receptors. 


So those breaks, cuts, sores, and sprains? You’re suffering under them… without even

knowing it. 


And as I’m sitting here with an achy mouth (learn from my mistake: do not eat hard or acidic things–aka, carrots and tomatoes–right after a teeth cleaning) and pictures of unknown injuries on my screen, I can’t help but be grateful for my tooth troubles. 


So what if it hurts? I’d rather have sore gums than cavities and rotten teeth.


The temporary discomfort far outweighs the long-term consequences of avoiding this pain.  And I think we need this outlook in our lives as a whole… 


Friends, nowhere in the Bible does God promise us an easy, pain-free life. In fact, He basically guarantees the opposite: 


“In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). 


Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t really jump for joy at the prospect of trouble. I don’t think any of us really do. 


We don’t like difficult things, painful seasons, trials of any kind. But the thing is, how else are we supposed to grow? 


Now, I’m not saying that everyone thrives in high-stress situations because I certainly don’t. But I am saying that our God knows what we need. 


As Ecclesiastes phrases it, there’s a time for everything. God gives us seasons of rest, of quiet, steady transformation… 


But He also calls us to leaps of faith. To leaving our comfort zone behind because something better is up ahead. 


When I look back on my walk with Jesus, I can honestly say that each season of my life has introduced more troubles. But God orchestrated them for my growth. I know that without a doubt. 


As I’ve trusted in Him, He’s transformed me.


In my discomfort, He is my comfort. 


And coincidentally (not really, I did this on purpose), the entire John 16:33 verse reinforces exactly what we’re talking about:


“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


Friends, our ‘comfort zone’ hung on the cross for us. Endured immense pain for the purpose of our salvation. Whatever challenges we’re facing, may we cling to Him. 


If we entrust Jesus with our lives, choosing Him over the world, our pain will not be in vain. It will be woven into His redemption story.


And somehow, someway, He will use it for good. 


Always, always, for His good. 







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