Growing up, I brushed my teeth a couple of times a day, but only casually, with speed on my mind, not a thorough scrubbing of each tooth. Now in my forties, I’m starting to reap my decision to boycott floss.
Yesterday, I found myself in one of my least favorite places, the dentist office, an oral surgeon’s office to be exact. One of my back teeth lost its filling and the remainder of the tooth could not be saved. When a friendly dental hygienist called my name, she led me like a lamb to slaughter. I slunk into the dentist chair, mentally quoting Scriptures on “Fearing Not.”
A few minutes later, the dentist numbed my gums around the rotted tooth and began the process of extracting the offending molar. With a tool designed for television horror movies, he grabbed onto the tooth and began to pull, twist, and turn. I heard loud crunching sounds. I pressed the button on my mp3 player and tried to lose myself in the sounds of Pentatonix Christmas, but to no avail. He switched to a type of mini-saw that shredded the tooth, sending shards of enamel and tooth around my mouth and onto my paper bib. At one point he stopped for a moment, long enough for my jaw to briefly relax. I asked,
“Are we almost done?”
The dentist responded,
“Almost man, but you have wicked long roots.”
He commented he couldn’t tell where my roots ended and the bone to protect my sinuses began. He said,
“If I drill into that sinus bone, we’ll have a whole other set of issues…”
He continued to chip away bits and pieces of decayed tooth. I really believe he thought he’d found a new access point to China. Finally, he stopped and instructed the assistant to take an x-ray. He strolled in a few moments later and said,
“I think I got it all, but I’m just not sure. Like I said, you have wicked deep roots.”
Having “wicked deep roots” isn’t so great when facing a tooth extraction. But “wicked deep roots” in the spiritual realm, now that’s a whole different story.
And Jeremiah 17:7-8 shares the following:
7“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. 8“For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.
These verses share that those who trust in the Lord resemble trees planted by the water, their roots digging deep into the soil. Having deep roots in God, aids in facing the storms of life that certainly threaten. The verses also teach that even when drought comes, the leaves of the trees will grow green, flourish, and the tree will bear fruit. I believe this suggests when people see our deep rooted faith in God, their hearts will be fertile grounds, ready to hear our testimony and the Gospel message.
In other words, “wicked deep roots” aren’t always bad. In fact, in the Christian walk, those roots are necessary for standing strong in the faith.
So, dig into the Word, and grow roots.
Oh, and also take care of your teeth.