Monday, October 26, 2009

The Appointment

On Friday, I headed to the dentist for my semiannual cleaning. I don't mind going to the dentist. My husband thinks I'm crazy and jokingly refers to me as the 'dentist's pet.' I guess he's just a little jealous that I was fortunate in the tooth department and very rarely get cavities.

My hygienist was exceptionally sweet, and we chit-chatted back and forth when my mouth was free of scaling tools and the suction straw. First she used a metal instrument to check my gums and measure any areas that showed signs of recession. Next came the scaling tools that applied pressure to remove any plaque or tartar build-up that had accumulated over the previous six months. Although the scraping sound was vaguely reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard, my hygienist was surprisingly gentle during this phase of the cleaning.

Once plaque-free, my teeth were ready to be polished. I didn't know so many flavors of tooth polish existed. I was offered the traditional mint, followed by some pretty creative flavors: bubblegum, grape, cinnamon and even cookie dough in case I wanted to imagine that I was back at home mixing up a batch of cookies. I stuck with mint. After a final squirt of water to rinse out any remaining gritty polish, flossing was all that remained. The dentist came in to give my teeth a final examination, and with my goody bag of new tooth brush, paste and dental floss in hand, I left the office having scheduled my next appointment for mid-2010.

My trip to the dentist reminded me of the importance of regular self check-ups. It's crucial to examine myself in the light of God's Word and allow Him to use His 'scaling' instruments to remove those 'plaque-like' things in my life that hinder my growth. I'm challenged to pray with the Psalmist, David, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24, KJV).

When we've identified sin in our lives, what a good opportunity to offer up a prayer to God from the words of Psalm 51:

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (1-10).

When we admit our faults and shortcomings, and submit ourselves to the Father's scrutiny, although He may need to 'scrape' some of those areas with the heavenly tool of His Word, I can testify to the fact that He is surprisingly gentle. In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul verified that it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4).

Once the sin is purged from our lives and our 'cleaning' is complete, we can once again "...teach transgressors thy (God's) ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee (God)" (Psalm 51:13). Wow! Just to think that when we are walking in fellowship with God, He can use us to bring others to Himself, should motivate us to go to Him for regular 'check-ups.'

Have you scheduled an appointment with your Heavenly Father today?


  1. Maria, I enjoy this blog a great deal.

    Psalm 51, is the scripture that lead me to salvation. I prayed that prayer six years ago in my closet, face soaked with tears. I felt the presence of the Lord and I knew I was forgiven.

    Thanks for the reminder, that we need never miss our check ups! I cannot afford to.

  2. Maria, You never cease to amaze me with your analogies! The little things we do throughout our days, you turn them into encouraging messages. Thanks so much for being such a gift in my life!God Bless!

  3. Tamika - Thanks for sharing your salvation testimony. How special that God can use any portion of His word to draw us to Himself! I appreciate you.

  4. Ellie - I'm so grateful that God has blessed you through this blog. I'm also very humbled. Thanks for your sweet comments! God bless you greatly as you seek Him! :)

  5. Maria, thanks for sharing. If I go a day without spending time with my heavenly father it is a day with situations that I would be able to handle had I prayed to God. But when I spend my time with him, time that is so very precious, no matter what happens, I can rest in him. I love him so very much.