Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sticking Like a Tick

     Some years ago, we returned home from a brief vacation.  We had boarded our two dogs (a dalmatian no longer with us and our basset hound) while we were away so we made our way to the kennel.  The owner told us that we should carefully check both dogs for ticks as they had been having trouble with ticks that year due to the heavy rains.
     Arriving home, we gave our dogs a bath and we didn't initially see any ticks.  We had flea and tick collars on both animals when we took them to the kennel so we felt they were protected.  Much to our surprise, when I turned our basset hound over, I found nearly 150 ticks attached under his legs, between his paws and in his ears.  Our Dalmatian was a little better, but she had nearly 50 ticks on her.  I spent nearly two and a half hours working to remove the nasty pests.  Roscoe, our basset hound, seemed quite happy at my removal process but our dalmatian squirmed as I worked on her.
     This whole experience reminded me of how easily sin can attach itself to our lives much like the ticks attached themselves to the dogs.   Sin, like a tick, starts out small but can grow to monstrous proportions and create a lot of problems!
Our dalmatian Duchess resting with her friend Rocky who was
visiting our home at the time.
     James 1: 13-16 points this out:  "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt any one.  But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then, when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren."  James points out that sin grows slowly, little by little until it accomplishes destruction.
     We often try to convince ourselves that no one can see the bad habits or secret sins that we hide in our lives.  While those around us may not see them, God certainly does.  Just because we wear the title Christian, does not mean that we do not sin or that we are never tempted to sin.  This is a dangerous form of thinking.  Remember, I thought my dogs would be safe because they had on flea and tick collars!  Throughout the Bible, we are warned to be on our guard against temptation which leads to lust and then ends with sin. (I Peter 5:8)
     In addition, we often try to blame God or others for the sin we allow in our lives.  How many times have we heard people say, "If only the Lord hadn't brought that person into my life, I would have remained faithful to my spouse", or "If my friends hadn't offered me a drink, I never would have become an alcoholic."  All to often, we try to escape the fact that we nurtured a temptation until lust conceived and birthed sin.  The death of our spiritual relationship with God was not due to the Lord or our friends.  We made the choice to proceed and act on a temptation.
The ugly dog tick
     How we respond to God's work at dealing with our sins is also much like the response our two dogs had when I worked on them.  Our basset hound was relaxed and open to my efforts while our dalmatian was quite resistant.  When God points out our sin, are we willing to give it over to Him and admit our wrongdoing?  Or are we like the dalmatian that fought off efforts to free her from the ugly ticks?  By yielding quickly to the Lord, we can find peace and healing.  If we resist Him, we only find that sin will suck the life out of us in every area.  Sin brings death to our relationship with God and others.
     What is God speaking to our hearts today?  We need to stop and do some self-examination in our lives.  If the Holy Spirit convicts us of an area of sin, let us be quick to confess it that we may be cleansed in the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior.  Likewise, let us put on God's full armor each day that we may resist temptation when it comes our way.  There is no need to suffer separation from God.  Selah!

I welcome your thoughts on this subject today.  Please feel free to leave them.  Blessings!


Pam said...

"Sin, like a tick, starts out small but can grow to monstrous proportions and create a lot of problems!" This is an excellent object lesson, Barbara!

Barbara Thayer said...

You are welcome Pam. Yes, God gives us so many lessons in nature and this one became clear after I had to work on the dogs. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for coming to visit. Always look forward to your sweet words. Blessings!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Barbara, You've got me caught between being convicted and laughing at the same time.

This brings back memories of wrestling with our 95 lb beast of a dog who always came home loaded with ticks after roaming the Colorado Rockies. We used a match to get them to back out, and if that didn't work we tried to turn them counterclockwise like removing a lightbulb.

Great illustration though of the deceitfulness of sin though! :)

May the Lord bless you with a wonderful weekend my friend.

Barbara Thayer said...

Thanks for the visit and your comments Diane! Yes, ticks are in abundance in Florida especially during wet weather. I didn't use a match....I used a tweezers. It worked and the nasty job got done. My dogs were miserable till I freed them. Poor things! This is what happens to us when we get caught in sin. Thank goodness for the love of Christ who sets us free!

May you have a blessed weekend and a wonderful, restful Lord's Day my friend!

Christina said...

I can't think of a better illustration than these dawgies! Love it! And yes, I'm convicted and challenged by the message. May God give us the grace to confess our sins when He points them out! This was great.

Barbara Thayer said...

Thank you Christina! I hated to even post the picture of the tick. YUCK! They are awful....but then, so is sin. God uses all His creatures to teach us lessons doesn't He? Blessings my friend!