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It's been so long ago, I am not even sure when it happened. It might have been way back in July, or in any of the months since. The problem was one I had had before. A tooth on one of my dental implants became loose.

It did not bother me. I could still eat. I had no pain. So, the logical thing to me was to not do anything about it until the tooth came out. I found out yesterday that my delay was costly ...

On Wednesday I spent over two hours in the office of a local oral surgeon. Today I will be at my dentist's office (this shouldn't take long). I have not seen any bills yet, but - no offence meant to Dr. Hackenberger or Dr. Wainess (both really good - and competent- guys) - I have more desirable ways to use my time than to give away three hours in the middle of December!

Dr. Hackenberger politely suggested that if this should ever happen again, it would be wise on my part to get to Dr. Wainess within the first week of the tooth becoming loose. The implication was that the issue would have cost me less than a half hour back in August (or whenever it was). My verdict: While "better late than never" still stands true, this was a costly delay on my part.

This got me to thinking about some of the other "costly delays" I have seen in people's lives: The man who carried the burden of an un-confessed sin in his heart for some sixty years ... the parents who raise their children in a spiritual vacuum so that they can "make their own choice" later on ... the spouse who says "we can handle this without counseling" when an issue becomes a repeated, heartbreaking occurrence. Yes, "better late than never" still stands true, but how costly are these delays?

In the Lord's Prayer Jesus teaches us to say, "Give us this day our daily bread." (Matthew 6.11) for a reason. He has no desire to delay in giving us his blessings. In fact, he wants us to see that he is ready to bless EVERY DAY!

His promises are straight-forward: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor me." (Psalm 50.15) "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22.6) "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11.28-30)

My jaw aches today because of a costly delay I made in my life. What are the aches of your heart? ... TODAY is the day that the Lord seeks to bless you (It IS better to come to him late than never) What are some future aches that you might be able to avoid by taking action today?

Have you ever noticed how often in the Christmas story we hear the words, "Fear not" or "Do not be afraid"? In these words God is saying to you and me, "Trust me. I will provide. Do not delay." "Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5.7) Please don't delay, my friends, like I did, for "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it." (Psalm 118.24) And, really, when you think about it, there is no cost in coming to the Lord TODAY - only rewards!

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