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But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

I have terrible teeth. Guess I was born with them (ha!). I’ve had my share of fillings, root canals, and crowns. Not to mention braces, oral surgery (in the hospital!), and a couple of brutal in-office procedures that make me wonder how I’ve made it this far in life without inflicting acts of physical violence on others. The point of all this is one simple truth…well maybe two simple truths: bad teeth can be fixed, and my dentist, Dr. DeLoach, is a very brave man.

Several years ago, when I finally acquired a dental plan, I had a lot of work done on my teeth. About three years ago, however, there was a welcomed respite. All the corrective work I had needed for a while was done, and my checkups were good. Then a couple of visits later, my check-up showed that I had new cavities, and one was bad enough to need a crown. So, I bit the bullet as best I could, plopped back down in that chair and had the root canal done.

Anyway, a couple of weeks passed, and I got a call for my “coronation” appointment. They took off the flimsy temporary, and put on the shiny new crown. Felt just like the old one to me. But when my dentist saw that it fit exactly like my old tooth, he took it off and said it had to go back. They put back on the flimsy temporary, and I went home to patiently wait for the phone to ring.

See, as I mentioned before, I have terrible teeth. But not only that, my jaws are just slightly out of whack as well; so much so that my teeth on the right side of my mouth have never closed completely. My dentist, in ordering this new crown, saw an opportunity to correct my bite, but to do so, he had to make sure the crown was better than my natural tooth. What needs to be said here is this: Dr. DeLoach has invested a lot in my teeth. He has been my dentist since I was a child (even though he’s practically my age!), so he takes great care to make sure that the finished product reflects his best work.

Anyway, the day finally came and I went back to the chair, got the new crown, and was soon able to experience what it feels like to close all my teeth together.

As I was having dinner that first night, and chewing on both sides of my mouth, I was thinking how gracious God is in this process He has undertaken in my life of making all of me new. As He identifies bits and pieces of my life that are decayed, He carefully removes the bad part, and replaces it with new. But everything I allow Him to renew in my life, He makes better than it was before. He is changing me, as Paul declares, from glory unto glory. Because as He removes what is unacceptable from my life, He replaces it with more of Himself, so that what I am becoming at His hands is so much better than anything I could’ve ever imagined.

It can be a painful process sometimes, I will admit, as He drills away those things that are doing secret damage in my heart. But through the pain He reminds me that this life is just temporary. I have been created by Him for eternity with Him, and some things just won’t make it through eternity. He amazes me daily with how carefully He remakes me.