I went out the other day to buy a new toothbrush.  This, to many, is a very simple procedure and merits no extra thought.  To me, however, a toothbrush is more than an investment, it is a commitment.

I have a funny quirk (well, probably more than one but we are only going to talk about this one today).  I really do not like to have things other than food in my mouth.  The metallic taste of cutlery is just bearable.  The taste of those paper sample cups at Costco stays with me for ages.  I will only eat a popsicle down so far and then I break a large chunk off so I don’t have to deal with the stick!  I gave up playing the clarinet for the flute because the feel of the reed in my mouth was stomach turning.

Knowing all of that about me, you can imagine why I struggle with buying a toothbrush.  I had a favourite brand and style but they stopped making those.

Long story short, I pulled up my bootstraps, took a deep breath and made the plunge.  I bought a new toothbrush.

This little bit of plastic and rubber plays such a huge role in my life.  Despite my reluctance to put strange things in my mouth, I really like to brush my teeth.  I close my eyes and just enjoy the frothy cleanliness of gum massage.

My new toothbrush has a special feature.  There are little bumps on the underside of the bristle head.  The package had advertised that this brush would help clean the tongue too, but these bumps!  Not only do the rub the grunge from the tongue, but they also tantalise the inner cheek.

These little bumps reminded me of the little bumps we encounter every day in life.  All of the little things that gradually wear down the plaque of sin and indifference in our hearts.

Daniel 11:35
Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.

None of us enjoy being broken down or feeling pummeled by circumstances.  It is hard to stay focused and positive when it seems as though we can never succeed or are constantly being rebuked or chastised.

Proverbs 3:12
…the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

As loving parents, we spend years – decades even – helping to rub down the rough spots in our children.  Our goal is not to hurt or discourage them but to aid in their maturity and teach them how to problem solve and make wise choices.

The same is true for the Lord.  He loves us so much that He does not allow us to remain stagnant but instead grooms us.  As we grow in Him, it is sometimes easier to recognise the lessons learned from having those bumps come into our lives.  The bumps may be people with whom we have nothing in common or injury or illness.  The bumps may be family relationships, finances or other issues that seem much more like mountains than mole hills.

Matthew 17:20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. ”

The foundational point is that no matter how big or small our problems may seem, God is still the same.  God does not get smaller because our heartaches get bigger. 

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

God loves us so much that He allows the bumps of life to refine us.  He does not abandon us when the bumps come but waits for us to turn to Him.

Are there things in your life that are stumbling you?  Are there people that seem impossible to live with?  Are there trials that are weighing you down so heavily that you feel as though you can not get up?

What could possibly be the purpose?  What is it that God has for you to learn?  Have you asked Him?  Have you taken it to Him in prayer?

God is faithful beyond all else.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9

I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.  He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

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