But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Romans 13:14
You know there are one or two things that are good about a really cold winter. And number one is the fact that it kills all the bugs. As you remember, last winter wasn’t very cold. I’m not sure what you thought about last winter’s weather, but apparently the local tick population thought it was just fine. Even around my house—and I live on the main drag in Harrisburg—we have had to check every once in a while to make sure we didn’t pick up any unwanted hitchhikers.
Several weeks ago Judy and I went hiking in a wooded area. The trail we were on was plenty wide but I guess ticks are good jumpers. Later in the week, I was working at my desk at home and I felt just a little itch on my leg. You know, nothing major—just a “hi—I might need you to scratch me later” itch. I ignored it.
After a bit, it developed into more. It went from a “you might need to scratch me” to more of a “hey, now would be a good time to scratch me” itch. So I did—and when I did, I felt a small bump. At first I thought it was a small bite and whoever had done it had moved on to greener pastures. I was wrong. It was a dirty, rotten, no good, “I want you to die”… tick. Oh, he wasn’t big—in fact he looked quite innocent. He was only the size of a writing pen head. Well, I try to be a friendly guy—just not with ticks and especially not with one having dinner—and I’m the meal. So we departed company and I did my best to make sure he went to the tick afterlife. So long friend…adios. No prayer, no service…just you’re out of here.
So, I thought it was not big deal—but I guess big is relative. You see, by the next day that little bite site had turned red and was about twice as big as before—and it was still itching—only more. Now fortunately it was NOT the kind of dirty rotten, no good, “I want you to die” ticks that give us weird diseases. But even so, the spot where he bit me itched for several weeks. Even a couple of months later while the itch is gone the scar remained. It hard to imagine that one little tick can cause so much trouble. Write that one down: little things can have bigger consequences.
Yep, that’s right. Some small habit, some little action or inaction, a few seconds of a wandering mind, a few misspoken, unkind words—can have large and lasting consequences. And the worse part is that it doesn’t just affect us—it can and does affect those around us. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because it starts small it stays small. It rarely does. It really isn’t practical to totally avoid the outdoors so there has to be another way. A good insect repellent is a good start.
A guy in the Bible named Paul wrote gives us some good advice on how to avoid pesky sins. He said, “but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to it’s lusts.” So Paul said the best way to avoid the aggravation and consequences of sin is to give yourself a good smattering of Jesus and then avoid sin wherever and whenever it is likely to jump on. The truth is the more we read the Bible and apply it and the more we act like Jesus the less likely we will find ourselves infested with pesky, troublesome sin. Trust me…life is just better.
Well, the site where the friendly little tick decided to visit is finally about gone but it was a journey to get here. The bottom line is it would just be better to avoid it in the first place. The old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is so true. That is also true in avoiding ticks and it is true in avoiding sin. One thing is for sure. It is good to know that God is more than willing to help us know when there’s a pesky sin close by. All we have to do is ask, and He will help. Mark it down…we can rest assured with Him close by. He’s got this.