Some time ago I was researching “root canals” on Google, I came across this cartoon:
“Read my Bible, I would rather have a root canal!”
Well, clearly the writer of this cartoon had never had a root canal. The reason I was doing this research was because I was in excruciating pain after the second of my two root canals. I can testify that I would much rather read my Bible!
And yet, the author did identify one of the reasons I have at times avoided reading the Bible--I know that it might strike a nerve, and there is a very good chance I might experience some discomfort, and even some pain.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:11-13
There is a raw nerve that is within every human heart. Touching the raw nerve brings us face to face with a Holy God. But the benefit is that we can alter our actions to align our lives with His standards. My endodontist (there are specialists who are in the business of just doing root canals) diligently looked for the canal in my tooth in order to preserve my tooth. The pain was worth the end result. God wants to preserve our hearts, but sometimes it requires hitting a nerve, and doing a little digging to get to the root of the issue—some sin in our life.
Ok, so I know this is a bit of a crazy analogy, but I had to find some lesson from my days of pain. And I know too that the analogy only goes so far, because the Bible has a far greater purpose than just exposing our sin by hitting a nerve in our hearts. God’s Word offers us His forgiveness and grace, it offers us His love, it offers us comfort and it gives us promises for an eternal life. Spending time with God by reading the Bible should be a priority in my day because it is the means God has given me to know Him. A little work at the “root” of the matter is a small price to pay.