Posted by: Kara Luker | September 9, 2011

A time to dye

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

One fine day in elementary school, each kid in my class was given a small red tablet to chew. Being a sugar fiend, I was anticipating candy. Alas, no. While not revolting, it was also not a sweet cherry-flavored treat. Regardless, we finished nibbling our pellets and made the very entertaining discovery that our third grade teeth were coated with something that looked like red paint.

I can’t guarantee that I brushed my teeth that morning, but it is likely that toothpaste had touched them at some point in the preceding 24 hours. To my 8-year old mind, they looked and felt clean. Yet here I was with a bunch of other giggling kids showing off, as the teacher explained, all the plaque in my mouth that had been exposed by the red dye. Definitely one of the more memorable days I had at Marine View Elementary.

I’m sure the teacher followed up with a lesson on the way that plaque destroys our teeth, causes major problems, and makes for really crappy dentist appointments. It is also likely that we were shown some sort of proper hygiene that would help us avoid these issues. Although my current state of excellent oral hygiene probably has more to do with the really crappy dentist appointments than the enlightenment I received that day.

I often consider the hard stuff in life some kind of plaque that needs to be eradicated, but it is really only the dye God uses to expose what will end up causing me pain. His intent is never to throw me into discouragement or frustration, but to propel me directly into freedom by cleaning up the unbelief in my heart. No matter what circumstances I encounter, I will be able to respond with hope and will trust in the Lord’s ability to sustain me or comfort me or heal me. It is a joyful thing, almost as much as hearing the hygienist say, “Guess what? I’m not even going to pull out my torturously pointed scraping tool today!”


  1. Kara girl, The Lord gave you an amazing example of invisible sin in our lives! May the Lord continue to bless you, give you insight and fill your days with His sweet love!

    • What a sweet blessing. Thank you!

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