My dentist discovered a problem which required a little more attention than the scheduled cleaning. Before I knew it, I was receiving a Novocain injection and being fitted for a crown.
Apparently, a filling had broken and needed to be replaced. Part of the removal also involved a deep cleaning to remove any underlying decay… all of which would have caused unbearable pain were it not for the Novocain. Next, a mold was created so the new crown could be customized to fit me properly. I was then given a temporary crown with an appointment to return in 10 days for the permanent crown.
I had another tooth crowned several years ago so I knew what to expect. But this time was different. Sitting in the chair with a lifeless, bloated lip, I had a revelation. I couldn’t help but think about the process of sanctification – the shaping of a believer into Christlikeness. My old filling (carnal nature) is definitely broken and in need of replacement. By God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, I am experiencing a deep cleaning to remove any underlying decay (sin). It’s a life-long process that would be unbearable were it not for Christ’s substitutionary death and new mercy every morning – a type of spiritual Novocain, holding back deserved punishment and pain.
I almost jumped for joy out of the exam chair when I thought about the crown that is being prepared for me in glory. It will also be custom fit but unlike the permanent dental crown, which will eventually waste away, the glorious crown will last forever!
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)
“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” (1 Peter 5:4)
While waiting for my 10-day follow-up appointment with the dentist, I was reminded that I have another upcoming appointment. I’m not exactly sure when it will be, but I’m waiting and I’ll be ready!
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-13)
Christ took the pain, for my gain. Hallelujah!