I really don’t think someone would deliberately plant poisonous plants in the yard; however, my yard has poisonous plants in different areas. How did they get there? I have no answer. I certainly did not plant them. Occasionally, those unfriendly weeds appear in the ivy.
Recently, as I was cleaning my yard, I must have brushed up against those weeds. After gathering all the weeds I had pulled from the garden and bundling them up, I did not notice anything right away, but soon I was itchy. I dismissed it as a slight reaction to grass or weeds. I took a shower and went about my business.
The next day a small rash appeared on my left arm. I thought perhaps something had bitten me in the night. Again, I ignored the itching. It continued to spread, and it was a week before I went to the pharmacist. He said I had poison ivy or poison oak and suggested a cream that would relieve the itching.
Sometimes there are things in our lives that we choose to cover up instead of getting to the real root of the problem. The medication I purchased at the drug store helped the itching, but the rash was spreading like wildfire. My left arm was covered with the rash, and the rash had spread to my right arm. After two weeks, I went to the doctor. He prescribed steroids to break up the poison oak. No more cover up!
I believe when we have sin in our lives, we brush it off, excuse it as nothing, try to dismiss it, and cover it up. Sin cannot be ignored. If left unattended, it gets worse and the danger that our heart may harden increases. At the first sign that we are doing something wrong, we may sense a nudge from the Holy Spirit (like the constant itching). It is time to check out the problem. We must see the spiritual condition of our hearts. Are our hearts right? Do we have something poisoning our spirits or our minds?
The Bible says:
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve” (Jeremiah 17:9-10, NIV).
I had my son cut away the poison oak, killing it at its root. Like that poison oak, we must also deal with sin by getting to the root and destroying its effects on our lives.
The Lord never covers up our sins. He exposes them, and brings them to the surface and into the light. Then we can see them, turn to Him, repent, and be cleansed.
Author: Cathy Irvin
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