Create in me a clean heart O Lord and renew a right spirit within me.
I felt it at dinner time. Just a few twinges of pain in one of the right lower molars as I chewed my food. Thinking nothing more of it, I went to bed. The next morning, a constant dull ache had replaced the twinges. It disappeared when I was preaching in Skyline, but as soon as I boarded the flight to Singapore that afternoon, the ache morphed into a throbbing, intense pain. All joy of eating was gone even though we were celebrating my mum’s birthday that evening. Every bite brought a sharp, searing, neuralgic flash from the roots of this awful infected tooth. I felt miserable looking at the wonderful spread, but only managing soup and the soft rice.
Lesson? Small unseen things unattended can cause big trouble. It disturbed sleep, and spoiled my breakfast. I found myself grumpier, and easily distracted even though I was teaching a fantastic class of some thirty leaders in a Bible school. I dismissed the class early, and took a Grab to a kind ex-Skyliner dentist who slotted me in at the last minute. The problem? Infection of the dental pulp and root canal. Bad news. The narrow canals of the infected tooth had to be probed and thoroughly cleaned. It was a tedious and ouch! painful process, but the pain relief after that was heavenly.
Deal with the roots of sin, offence, unforgiveness, and greed early. These may be “small things”, and invisible to the naked eye, just like dental root infections, but left untreated they will fester and poison us, with painful consequences. Expose and confess them. Forgive and receive forgiveness. Repent and choose to live in authenticity, brokenness, and courage. Walk in accountability. That is what God wants for us. Deal with these “small things” and we will live in freedom with nothing to fear, nothing to hide, and nothing to lose. For small things can cause big trouble, later!
Ps Dr Philip Lyn 医生牧师