Thursday, March 22, 2007


I wrote a couple days ago about choosing pain to achieve a desired end-result. I just started an orthodontic process (braces, but with clear plastic trays instead of metal). Since my teeth and their pain have been front-and-center in my thoughts, so has this.

This whole orthodontic tray thingy hurts. Really, my teeth are doing ok. So far, there is much less soreness of my actual teeth than when I had traditional braces years ago. The part that hurts is my tongue and inside of my lips. You see, the edges of these trays are a tad sharp and my tongue/lips are a bit raw. It's constant. There is no where else to put my tongue or lips. They are constantly irritated. But, as it continually hurts, I continually think about the end result. I could take out the trays if I wanted to, but I don't. I just remind myself that I'm straightening my teeth and it will be great in the end!

I can't help but notice that I wish I were more like this spiritually. To constantly know the pain that I cause God, to constantly recognize the grace He has given me, to constantly feel the process of sanctification - if dying to self and turning towards to Lord, and to constantly be reminded of the end-result. God working in me would be so easy to see and to feel. Praying constantly would a given. How could you not?

Perhaps this is the beauty of having children (for those of you that have them!). You have little reminders of your God's gifts running around you all the time...and then eventually they start saying things to you that reveal your flaws. Maybe this is why God gives us children. I only have a dog and she doesn't humble me at all. She just loves me, and the space heater under my desk, and to her, I AM God. Anyway... (By the way, does anyone ever desire children for the purpose the humility-training? Or does the realization of that benefit come later?)

I've been praying lately for God to remind me of my sin - to show it to me. It's so ugly, but it's real. It's so easy for me to slip into a frame of mind where I forget my sin. My life is pretty good. Yep, doing pretty good today. Life looks great. I forget that even my best efforts are filthy rags, but by Christ's righteousness (and by nothing else), I have beautiful, clean garments. (Zechariah 3:3-4).

My sin is constant. Grace is constant. And I wish I were better at remembering it constantly.

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