Recently, I was speaking at a Saturday evening conference meeting in Wales. Afterwards, we stayed in a hotel and planned to drive back early Sunday morning for church in Loughborough. However during the night, a sharp ache developed in one of my upper teeth. At first, I ignored it in the hope it might just go away. But it got progressively worse. So we tried to find an emergency dentist in the area who could offer help – but none was available until Monday evening!! Meanwhile, the toothache became unbearable, so much that we decided that it would be better to drive back home during the night and see if we could get an emergency dental appointment the following morning near where we live.

The next day, I was on the dentist’s chair at 8am. An X-ray quickly revealed that the toothache was caused by a nerve being pressed by one of my teeth. Suddenly, months of pain all made sense to me. You see…I’m that typical guy who lives in denial when it comes to getting medical stuff sorted out. I’d had discomfort for quite some time with this tooth, especially when I had very hot or cold drinks. A small issue had been causing me months of discomfort which all came to a head that Saturday evening in Wales. Yet in the space of 30 minutes, a dentist was able to identify the cause of my pain, and offer treatment for it.

It’s interesting how issues that remain undealt with in our lives don’t just go away. They actually grow and cause a lot of unnecessary pain. A hurt, an offence, unforgiveness, bitterness….they don’t just go away. They touch nerves and create more pain than we can often bear. That’s why people can sometimes overreact to challenging situations – because a nerve has been pressed that is deep under the surface. It has never really been treated.

When an issue touches a nerve in your life, have the courage to get to the root and find out why. Don’t just live with the symptoms in the hope they’ll disappear. They won’t…and they’ll keep coming back time and time again. But God can heal you and help you deal with the issue, no-matter how trivial it may seem. Submit it to him and allow his grace to set you free.