Monday, December 21, 2015


It's not what you think.

Well, it will be…eventually.

But first, an entertaining little story about my teeth!!

So, earlier this year, I noticed that something was *weird* with one of my back molars.  I was having all sorts of trouble keeping it clean, and flossing it (You know what flossing is, right?  That thing that you do a week before getting your teeth cleaned??) – flossing was becoming a futile chore.

That's when I noticed that part of an old filling, and a goodly portion of the tooth, had chipped off.

Oh phooey.

(Can't imagine why a 50+ year-old filling was so weak…ahem).

Well, at my next teeth cleaning in June, I mentioned it to my hygienist.

She said, "Well, let's clean your teeth, and then I'll have the dentist look at it."


Said dentist then came in, and in utter horror, informed me that the gums surrounding this tooth, and his backyard molar neighbor, were in serious need of repair.

"Lucky for you, we now have a periodontist in the office every other Thursday, and he's here today."

Yes, lucky me.

Well, this guy opened my mouth and uttered another expression of horror, and dropped the hatchet of verdict(that's what I like to call it).

I needed gum surgery.

"Oh, and by the way, there's decay in that tooth, too."

Double-lucky me.

Well, I had the gum surgery in July.

And healed for the next six weeks. 

And put the cavity/filling on the back burner.

After all, the tooth wasn't bothering me.

Fast forward…

Remembering that my dentist was retiring at the end of this year, I called and made an appointment to take care of this.

It was about six weeks off.

I figured that would be fine.  The tooth still wasn't bothering me, and there were countless other things going on that I thought took precedence over a stupid filling.

Uh, yeah.

You know how this story goes…

The tooth started bothering me.

A little bit – and then A. LOT.

And so I lumbered through the remaining three weeks until my appointment.

I went in last Wednesday, now eagerly (??) looking forward to having this dumb molar taken care of…

If wishes were pennies, I'd be a rich girl.

They took x-rays so my dentist would have an accurate idea of where the decay was, and how he was going to proceed.

That's when I was informed that the tooth had *exploded* in the last six months, and he couldn't fill it, and he was going to try to pull some strings and get me into an endodontist for an emergency root canal.

Say what???

He showed me the x-ray, and almost the entire tooth was now consumed with decay.

No wonder it was bothering me.

Well, to cut to the chase, the endodontist was kind enough to stay extra hours to fit me in.  At 5:30 that evening, after close to two hours in the chair, I walked out into the cold evening and muttered to myself…

"What just happened?"

It's kinda good that it happened this way so I didn't have to fret and worry about it ahead of time.  I am not a dental hero, I've never had a root canal, and needles frighten me.  So, having less time to ponder was probably a good thing.

But, we're not done yet.

Next week I have to go in to get my first crown.

And, oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I'm still going to the same dental office that I've been going to for years – you know, the one that's 2 ½ hours away from our mountain town – so now each visit requires five hours of traveling time.

Yeah, that office.


All I can say is that I'm humming my own version of that classic cute song, "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth."  My version goes like this:

All I want for Christmas
Is one really good crown
A lovely crown
A beautifully functioning crown
Gee, I if I could only have a totally repaired tooth
Then I could wish you Merry Christmas…

Except I won't be able
To buy you a gift
For my bank account is empty now, ow...
Yes, my bank account is empty now.
Tra la.

Yup, my version isn't nearly as cute and endearing.

But as I was driving back up the mountain the other day, the Lord revealed to me three things that were true about my root canal and upcoming crown procedure – and how they parallel Christ's arrival upon the earth.

And yes, there's a Christmas devotional in it all.

1) It was unexpected

When I walked into the dentist's office that afternoon at 2 PM, I was expecting an easy, straightforward *drilling & filling* experience.  I was prepared for a short visit, but what I got was an odyssey.

In similar fashion, the arrival of the Messiah didn't happen like expected.

The Jewish people had been looking for a Messiah for hundreds and hundreds of years.  He had been talked about, wondered about – anticipated, sought, and longed for.

Of course, they were expecting a vanquishing King, a mighty Deliverer.

Someone who would swoop into their world and rescue them in overpowering fashion…quickly.

Perhaps he would be a rebel, a revolutionary, a righteous warrior.

A whirlwind.

What they got was a whisper.

A baby.


2) It was expensive

Any of you who have had gum surgery, or a root canal, or a crown know that all of these procedures are very expensive.  And, adding the expense of my tooth travails to the already hefty costs of all the other medical stuff we've had this year, well, let's just say that it's been taxing on the budget.

Yeah, our Christmas gifts to each other might involve just paying bills

In like manner, the coming of Christ was expensive, a costly venture that would eventually require the greatest payment of all…

A life.

People were counting on a quick fix, an *in-and-out-and-Israel-is-restored* kind of Messiah.  They would never have guessed that delivering them would cost him his very life.

And certainly not in the way it happened.

On a cross.

Gone was their vision of the hero, the strong and powerful King.

What they got was a beat-up, mangled, bloodied, humiliated, weak, taunted and rejected and abandoned man.

They did not understand that this man was also God.

Yes, the coming of Christ was expensive, for it cost Him so much…

Willingly giving up His place of honor in Heaven, emptying himself of His God-ness, relinquishing His power and majesty, He deigned to become a cell, an embryo, a fetus, a baby.

Helpless and completely reliant on His earthly parents to preserve and nurture His life.

Just so He could one day give it up.


3) It was necessary

Tiny pockets of decay can be fixed with a simple filling.

But decay that has completely invaded and consumed a tooth requires drastic measures.  For if the problem is not remedied, the poison could invade the bloodstream and multiply in rampant fashion.

An out-of-control situation that could one day become fatal.

As much as I tried to stall my treatment, as much as I wanted the *simple fix,* in the end my dental problem required extensive and necessary work.


Because it was the only way to bring healing.

Is this not the perfect metaphor for sin?

We might look at sin as a minor pocket of decay.  Causing a little aggravation sometimes, occasionally a moment of pain – but easily taken care of with minor correction.

God saw it different.

He saw a pervasive, virulent, poisonous corruption of the very essence of man.

He knew that it was going to require something painful to restore His beloved children to spiritual health, to give them eternal life.

And because of His love, He did what was necessary.

He gave His only begotten Son.

And Jesus willingly gave Himself, and chose to die.

Alas, sometimes the cure requires more brokenness, more agony, more suffering, more misery.

But Jesus did what He did because it's what had to be done to keep sin from killing us.

He literally saved our lives.


So, yes, I've been on a dental odyssey lately.  

And when the title for this blog post came to my mind – "A Crown for Christmas" – I was only thinking about the upcoming "awesome" gift of a new crown for my pesky molar.

But then I got thinking about the King, about Jesus

About how He laid aside His glorious crown in exchange for a crown of thorns.

About how the whole mission of salvation was unexpected, expensive, and necessary.

I got pondering...

He deserves a crown, but He gave it up…

We do not, but He gave us one anyway…

A crown of life.

An awesome gift!

Oh joy!

Forever live the King!!


So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down...
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

"Don't be afraid...Look, your King is coming…" (John 12:15, NLT)

"Because God's children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – the Son also became flesh and blood.  For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death." (Hebrews 2:14, NLT)

"Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor.  'Are you the king of the Jews?' the governor asked him.  Jesus replied, 'You have said it.'" (Matthew 27:11, NLT)

"The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head."  
(John 19:2, NIV)

"…Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.   Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord..." (Philippians 2:5-11, AMP)

"They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings – and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." (Revelation 17:14, NIV)

"And behold, on the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him.  And to Him (the Messiah) was given dominion (supreme authority), glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and speakers of every language should serve and worship Him.  His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed." 
(Daniel 7:13-14, AMP)

"'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.'" (Hebrews 1:8, ESV)

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.  He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.  From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.  And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, 'KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.'" (Revelation 19:11-16, NASB)

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12, NIV)

This Christmas let's celebrate our Lord Jesus' journey – cradle, cross, crown – and thank Him for giving us the gift of eternal life!!

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BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. One of my Christmas favorites. So glad we have been given that crown!

  2. What an odyssey indeed with your crown and your tooth; hopefully this will take care of the problem, at least with that tooth :)

    I'm glad Jesus laid aside his crown to come to earth :)

    Merry Christmas!


  3. What a fun read. You stories make me laugh. Look forward to you linking up with us again this week at Sitting Among Friends.

  4. wow, Sharon, what a magnificent parallel the Holy Spirit gave you! My mother had gum surgery years ago. It was the only time that I can remember in my whole life that my mother cried in pain and called me to ask me to help her. She was in agony afterwards.

    You know, as I was reading this, I had this thought that we cannot receive the crown (in the dental world or in the spiritual one) without killing the root of poison in our lives.

    So many profound thoughts here. I'm sorry you had to endure all that--when you receive your dental crown, don't mistake it for the one you'll receive in heaven and throw it at the dentist's feet! He may not appreciate it, and neither would you! Okay, yeah, dumb humor, but somehow, I think you'll find it amusing. I think you get my dumb humor.

    Very merry Christmas to you out in the boonies!

  5. You have such a gift, my friend. Always spot-on. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sharon. Much love and hugs!

  6. Hi, Sharon!
    This was a painful read both your pain and the pain our Savior endured! However, I am happy that your tooth was able to be saved, even if it's a costly crown. And I'm happy we were all saved when Jesus put His crown aside, humbling Himself to earth to die a costly death for us. Salvation.

    It is no fun getting old.

    Merry Christmas,

  7. Oh my Sharon, how I empathize and feel that pain ... I have many crowns, but the only one needed is His eternal one.

    I agree with Mary (Saleslady371) that it's no fun getting old(er)!

    I was here early on my Smart device but hen-pecking a comment there, is no fun either and it would have been really short (lol, I'm sure a much needed preference to most)... however, for you, my very 'gifted'writer, sister in Christ, who makes time to lift my spirit and encourage me with much wisdom at my place, well, how can I BE short with you (it'd be nice if that included - BE Wise and BE Gifted in sharing). I'd just like to tell you how very much you mean to me, Sharon, year round, you never fail to deliver a spiritual connection in your messages here and with me & so many others. I thank you (especially for the motivation you gave me in last week's post of decorating and the exuberant JOY it gave you and me vicariously through your writing). You are so honest and your vulnerability makes you ever so near and dear. You pack no punches and deal it like it is --- no 'fake' stuff, you are the real deal as Jesus Christ is. I pray that you find/and found healing this year, even in this most painful dental odyssey but mostly in your inner person and spirit. Your gift of writing never ceases to amaze me! The right words for the right moment!

    I'd like to send you the BIGGEST CHRISTmas GIFT to unwrap but you already possess the One I'd send with so much love and a wish for a very merry and blessed CHRISTmas for you, your mom, your sons and daughter-in-love, Marty and all your family! May God shine brightly upon you and yours with favor, a bit of prosperity seemingly needed in the expenses of this ordeal and much health!

    I LOVE you Sharon and appreciate knowing you, with the added bonus of reading your masterpieces (for free) with such JOY and HOPE!

    Peace be with you in Jesus Christ,
    Peggy(not so good at Christmas card sending so this may have to do :)

  8. So sorry for all that pain, Sharon! I still haven't ever had a crown, but I know it's coming eventually. ha. Thanks for showing us that God can teach us lessons through so many everyday things in life. Have a blessed Christmas!

  9. My dear husband is going through a dental adventure to say the least, one our pocket book could have done without. He has one took yet to crown and then his partial plates will be's been a long process. Dental floss is interest because people who live in the jungles make their own toothbrushes and floss...out of wood or a piece of vine, its works. Great post sister.

  10. Sharon, you always amaze with your ability to connect the happenings of your every day life with the deeper truths of God's Word. I just love the three spiritual nuggets you pulled out especially about there being no quick fixes for sin decay.

  11. So glad you are getting your crown (for your molar) and your crown later in heaven. I have a lot of crowns and over a year ago, lost a back tooth that could not be saved. My Dentist said he could do an implant, but it was crazy all the appointments and process I went through and still don't have the tooth. Soon maybe next year. I enjoyed your illustrations of how the Jewish people expected Jesus to come wearing a crown and deliver them, They failed to recognize Him just like today many do not realize Jesus is their savior and one of these days He will come riding a white horse and wearing a crown. Now is the day of salvation and it is best to prepare now to meet Him. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  12. OH, dear friend! I am SOOOO sorry you had to go through all of this awful ordeal! I have been praying for you, as you often come to my mind. Bless your dear heart. I trust the rest of this will go very smoothly for you, and it is soon behind you. I loved this think of what Jesus did for us...laying aside His crown for an awful crown of thorns! Oh, how I love Him!! And, I love you, dear friend, and appreciate the privilege of walking this blogging path with you. God bless you and your family with a very Merry Christmas!!

  13. Kinks in life like you've experienced with your tooth can get me all mumbly grumbley but you've managed to give it a heavenly perspective! Merriest of Christmases to you and yours and I pray for unexpected blessings to compensate for this unexpected loss.

  14. you are hilarious (sorry for the pain and money , of course) but a great and accurate metaphor! I know exactly who I'm going to forward this to! (teeth troubles=money troubles) blessings - next to you at rara - grateful for rain in CA (did you want to change your dds location maybe??) sue

  15. Such a beautiful parrable of Christ's crusifiction. So well done. :)

  16. Wonderful analogy...Merry Christmas :)

  17. I'm sorry to hear that. Pain is such a beautiful teacher though, as is evident with you.

    Happy Christmas! :)

  18. Sharon, oh Sharon...may this fix the tooth/crown issue. I need to introduce you to my new dentist...she does a crown all in one four hour period...a new method and a wee bit more expensive, but not much more than the other way. But this method does not guarantee that she got all the cavity out before she puts it on. Believe me, I know that one! : / Arghhh!
    On the other hand, the Crown of Jesus is a hard one too, yet we have been assured that He paid it all once and for always! Praising Him with you, Sharon.
    May your Christmas be filled with the joy of the Lord.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  19. Not sure how you pulled off that analogy, but oh by golly and a holly jolly Christmas you did it!

    Yup. We're undeserving royalty adopted into the heart by our Savior. Merry Christmas to you and all of yours, Sharon. Be careful not to wear out the other side partaking in Christmas festivities!

  20. Hi Sharon! (I have had so much dental work, my mouth is probably the part of me that's worth the most!)
    I feel for your dental issues my friend. I know you'll do beautifully, and it will be over soon. In the meantime, enjoy your holiday time with your cowboy husband, sons and family. May we stay connected in the new year!

  21. I applaud your creativity in being able to use your unexpected tooth troubles to illustrate a devotional. I'm glad Jesus heals all the decays of our lives (with a little help from the dentist). : )

  22. I am so sorry for all you have gone through with your tooth/teeth. But what a beautiful analogy you've given us to digest in this beautiful season.

  23. Teeth pain is the worst kind of pain! Thank for the humor of your writing and the correlations you made from this painful procedure. Hope your tooth is doing better! Happy New Year and thanks for linking up with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again in the new year :)

  24. I'm so sorry - for your pain, but also because I probably laughed more than I should have, because I can totally relate.

    Thank you for sharing with #TheCozyReadingSpot

  25. Since it has been a long time since I visited the dentist but plan to see her soon I am going to save this to read later. I did read through part of it.......

  26. I had a similar experience in my dentist office last week. I brought some pain to the attention of the dentist, and he informed me that if I did not get a crown on that tooth, it would eventually break and the procedure to repair or save the tooth would be worse. The scary part is when the dentist told me how much the crown cost.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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