"Hey Mom, did you know I have a loose tooth?" Ryan said one night as he was getting ready for bed.
"Let me see..." There were actually two loose teeth, and one was so wiggly I worried it might fall out in the night. I suggested pulling it, but Ryan wouldn't hear of it.
"It might hurt," he said.
"But Ryan, it's nearly out anyway. Hold still and let me pull it."
When he finally relented, the tooth was so loose I barely touched it before it came out. Now the new tooth - bigger, better, and more permanent - had room to move in.
Once the old tooth was out, Ryan and I talked about how it was a lot like sin in our lives; we know it needs to go, but we struggle to let it go. God wants to help us remove it so it can be replaced with something better - something that lasts. We hold on for all we're worth.
Is there anything in your life that's like that loose tooth? The purpose of the pulling is to get rid of something temporary in order to make way for something permanent, something better. It's the same way with whatever it is that you are holding onto. God wants to replace it with something better. Will you let Him?
This article first appeared in "Physician" magazine, January/February 2002