Well, sometimes after travelling and time off work I have a hard time getting back into the regular swing of things, particularly so when I have been essentially off the grid while visiting somewhere with minimal to no internet. Belief it or not there still are a few places like that out there. I was up in Nome, Alaska and while I know it would not be everyone’s cup of tea, I love the place. I must confess, my visits have been in the summer time and I seriously doubt I would ever want to visit in the winter. But, as they say, there is no place like Nome. But, as I said, trying to get used to the time change, get caught up on things at home and work and deal with whatever other issues came up while I was away makes it difficult to get back into the normal flow of life. I am finally caught up, mostly…..I think. But, on to the post of the day.
During my visit in Nome I had the chance to do some salmon fishing and the silver salmon were biting GREAT! One problem I found is that salmon have bigger and sharper teeth than most of the fish I have caught in the past. And, I found out the hard way. Someone, tried to remove a hook from one fish’s mouth before LOOKING and was bitten. A salmon’s teeth are not shark huge, but they are fairly big and very sharp. I had several little puncture wounds from the bite and was foolish enough to have had fingers on both hands in the fish’s mouth. After I finished finding needle nose pliers and removing the hook I washed off my fingers and tried to avoid those teeth on the rest of the fish. As time went I find that I did not wash as well as I should have and some ended up getting infected. I tried washing them better, scrubbing out the wounds, and that sort of helped, but some still got more infected and I ended up needing to start antibiotics and some of the spots needed to be lanced and drained. NO FUN! Now they are getting better and I thank God for that.
I deal with similar issues with patients frequently where the develop cellulitis, basically infection in the skin. Other times where they develop abscesses where pockets of bacteria and white blood cells collect (pus.) Well, some abscesses are small, like the ones I had but others get pretty large. All of these skin infections require some type of damage to the skin, cuts, scrapes, puncture wounds from bug bites, spider bites, thorns, etc. One thing I have noticed, and to me it is interesting, is that the big wounds usually do not become infected. Some is due to a larger amount of bleeding that washes dirt and bacteria out of the wound but a lot is that people tend to take larger wounds more seriously and wash them carefully, try hard to keep them clean, and thereby avoid infections. But, the smaller wounds, well people tend to not worry as much about those but they are the ones that normally get more infected, the infection spreads, and can get very severe. Once treated the infection resolves and the person heals fine but even small areas of infection, if not treated, will get worse and cause loss of tissue and if let go too long, result in death.
SO…..nice you are thinking, he got some fish bites on his hands, gave us a little lesson on skin conditions and such. BUT WHAT IS THE POINT?
I got to thinking how my spiritual life is similar. The big trials, the big temptations, the BIG EVILS when they show up are much easier to deal with for the most part. They are easier to deal with in a way. One can recognize the dangers to one’s spiritual well being when they are the big issues, the temptations and hardships are much more quickly recognized and dealt with by most. Avoid those things, or if a significant hardship is encountered most of us take time to look to the scripture and pray about things for God’s help in dealing with the difficulty at hand and He helps us. But, the little things, the tiny small trials we sometimes ignore and smaller sins are the say way. We sort of ignore the little things sometimes, let them go without addressing them. Now, I realize, sin is sin.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10
If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Genesis 4:7
There really are no big or small sins, but most of us consider some things as lesser sins. Maybe it is a little white lie, make a promise we don’t intend to keep; we make little mean comments about others, nothing TERRIBLE, but still negative comments that do not please God, treat others poorly but not really badly. Many ways we make these small sins and we ignore them. But, the small sins still impact our spiritual well being. These acts put barriers between us and God and human nature is such that once one thing is there we justify slightly more significant sins. The effects of these small sins, the progressively worse sins and the person’s ignoring them is they begin to fester. Maybe one fails to forgive someone, not forgiving someone causes the feelings of hurt and anger to remain, eating away at the person holding on to the hurt, creating more intense anger and bitterness. That anger and bitterness builds, it spreads into other areas of one’s spiritual life. It creates a spiritual infection and eventually needs dealt with in a more aggressive manner to rid one of that disease. One must drain the infection and treat it. Spiritually that requires looking to God and His guidance. Read the scripture to see what He wants us to do. As with any sin He wants us to recognize the sin, confess to Him that we have sinned and ask for forgiveness. God is good and faithful to forgive us of those sins and cleanse us. He and His word are our spiritual scalpel that drains the infection from us and the antibiotic that rids us of the sins.
But, as I said, interesting to me is that the more obvious, bigger so to speak, sins are in many ways easier to deal with overall because we more quickly recognize them but the smaller things slowly creep in, spread and cause more problems in the long run. Avoiding completely and seeking His protection can prevent problems, just like vaccinations that protect us from diseases.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Using protective devices, gloves when dealing with sharp items or getting vaccinations to protect ourselves are a couple examples on how to avoid infections, but spiritually we need to constantly seek the Lord and try to think with the mind of Christ, put on our spiritual armor and let God protect us.
Yeah, sin is sin, big or small, and sin is a spiritual infection, avoiding is best, but when it is present, it must be dealt with and when we deal with it, He will take care of us, forgive us, He redeems us.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Lord, I praise You and thank You for helping me understand Your desires for me to avoid sin and if I fail to avoid it, recognize it and deal with it as You wish me to deal with sin. I know I have sinned in many ways and I ask Your forgiveness of those sins. I thank You for Your sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ who died for my sins. I thank You for your grace and mercy. I pray in Jesus name that You continue to help me grow spiritually, that You continue to help me in my walk and help me better have the mind and heart of Christ. Please show me how to improve myself for You and how to better serve You. Help my loved ones see their own sins, show them they need to confess the sins to You and ask Your forgiveness. Help them walk away from the sins in their lives so they may better serve You and know You and Your will in their lives. I worship You for your grace, mercy and for all that You are.
Thanks for the visit today. I apologize for the absence and I pray all have been well. Try to be a blessing to others today. He will bless you for your efforts.