Tooth decay is caused by bacteria which produces acid that attacks the enamel of a tooth. The decay can cause holes in the teeth (cavities).

A couple years ago I had a nasty cavity that needed a significant amount of drilling to be removed. I remember the dentist saying “whoa, we really had to go deep on that one”. Of my many goals in life, surprising a dentist with my extreme ability to generate tooth decay is not one of them.

Three weeks ago I felt something very strange in that same tooth and noticed that it felt loose so I scheduled a quick visit to the dentist. It turned out that the prior drilling was so vast, the tooth became weak, and eventually crumbled. Roughly 70% of the tooth dislodged and was removed at that time (fortunately the base/roots were not impacted). What was left was a jagged, useless, painful, ugly mess. Another appointment was then scheduled for more invasive action. It was not a good situation at all, trust me.

Andiamo! The big appointment.

As I was sitting in the chair on the day of the big appointment, the dentist looked at me and said “andiamo” (“let’s go” in Italian). Then came numbing, lots of drilling and grinding generating smoke and horrendous sounds, removal of the old filling, spraying, and fluids flying everywhere. During a two hour procedure, the dentist and assistant carefully rebuilt and restored my tooth, then with great detail they refined by smoothing and right-sizing to ensure a proper fit and bite.

The end result was really quite incredible as initially they thought a root canal would be necessary. Observing the detailed (and disgusting) photo of the “before”, I was absolutely amazed at what was done in a relatively short amount of time.

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. (Malachi 3:3)

Just like the bad habits and choices in my life resulting in bacteria and acid infiltrating my tooth ultimately causing it to crumble, so it is with sin. Sin in our lives and sin in this world is causing everything to crumble. Turn off the television news and trust THE only good news: Jesus saves.

While a new tooth, new leader, new vaccine, new… book, diet, innovation, partner, house, car, gym, etc. “may be just around the corner” – a few days, weeks or years from now we’ll see those things were just moments in time and not the end solution. Jesus is the only one who can rebuild, restore and ultimately refine through his cleansing power, so let us draw nearer to him today.