For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace.” Romans 6:14
It’s just about to drive me nuts. For as long as I can remember, I have had to deal with allergies. From the days of running the woods in Northeast Florida as a kid to now, stuff in the air drives me bonkers. I can well remember the days in my early twenties when the only weapon I had to fight the battle with was some nose spray. And the crazy part of that is if you use it too often and too long, it actually makes matters worse.
In the earlier days, my main issue was the fall. There is this crazy plant called ragweed and when it starts to bloom, I start to suffer. We are talking itchy eyes, clogged nasal passages, and a sneeze that sounds like a chihuahua chasing their tail wound way too tight. Oh, and I don’t sneeze once—try six to eight times. In this COVID mess this has been a real issue because people think I am coughing instead of sneezing, so they give you the death stare and then run.
About a zillion years ago, I discovered something called Flonase that changed my life. It is a nasal steroid that tricks your nose and eyes into believing that there is nothing in the air. It was a game changer and I have used it probably for 30 years or more. Wow, it sure made fall easier. I might still have some symptoms but at least it was tolerable. Well, about five years ago, something happened. I started having the same symptoms in the spring too. They weren’t as bad, and the Flonase keep everything in balance. All that was true until this year.
As spring began to spring, my allergies started acting up, first in a little way and then in a big way. Today they are acting in a “you’ve got to be kidding me” way. So, when I started sounding like an overactive chihuahua I just start using my medicine. For some reason, this spring, it didn’t work like before. Now for the last couple of days, I have been sneezing and my eyes have been itching like crazy. I tried the over-the-counter stuff, and we made a little progress but so far, well, we are still at war.
All of this is so crazy. Some stuff from some plant is doing something to the lining of my sinuses causing them to go nuts and I end up in misery. I mean, first, I did nothing to the stinking plants and second, what’s up with my hypersensitive sinuses. Something that I can’t even see is making me miserable. I know, I should think positive but when you want to take your eyeballs out so you can scratch them better, it is hard to be positive. And then I know you aren’t supposed to put your fingers in your eyes, but it feels so good to scratch them. Oh, my goodness.
You know, I wonder what if sin (you know the things that God says we shouldn’t do) was as irritating as whatever it is that is driving me nuts? What if it bothered me to the point that I would do anything to stop? I do believe my life would be better…I know my life would be better. But the problem with sin is the fact we like it way too much. For many of us, it’s like the satisfaction I feel when I scratch my eyes or sneeze for the eighth time. It feels better…it feels good. But mark this down. There are consequences.
Sneeze eight times with your eyes closed while driving and you end up running a red light or running into a ditch. Bummer. Scratch your eyes too often and you end up with an eye infection or scratching something like whatever it is that makes your eyes work in the first place. Regardless—you end up in a mess. The best thing to do is what I did today. I went to see my eye doctor friend. Fortunately, she confirmed it wasn’t some weird African eye disease. She prescribed some medicine that will stop this infernal itching. It’s gonna take a few days but eventually with her help, I’m gonna win. I knew if there was anything that could be done, she would know and she would help and she did. She is my doctor, but she is also my friend.
It is the same way with this sin thing. We need to call the sin doctor and that would be Jesus. He knows all about sin—how to beat it—how to subdue it, and how to avoid all those nasty consequences. He died so that sin wouldn’t win, and He is more than willing to help us, if we ask. His death on the cross paid the penalty for our sin but He also gives us victory over the sneezing and itchy eyes part of sin—the day-to-day messiness of sin. He gives us sin relief and I love that.
Paul, one of the main writers of the New Testament part of the Bible, says that sin (along with all its messy consequences) does not have to rule over us—because we are not under the “thou shalt not’s” but under grace—God’s unlimited and unmerited favor. And because of that, sin doesn’t have free reign, you know, like too many sneezes and itchy eyes. That sounds like good news to me.
Just know that if you hear something that sounds like an overactive chihuahua or see some guy with red eyes, don’t worry it is probably just me going nuts. But remember, and this is the take-away, there is Someone who can handle your sin issues and that Someone is Jesus. He loves you a lot—so much He died for you. And whatever your issue is, you can take this to the bank, He’s got this, too. Bro. Dewayne