Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Worry Wart

The drop of Compound W at the end of the applicator brush grew slowly bigger, bulkier, finally bulging at the end of the applicator brush held over the finger that was so patiently waiting underneath. One drop would cover the spot, but that drop was taking a lifetime, it seemed, to gather its strength and release its load of salicylic acid on the troublesome wart below. My bad, of course. I had noticed the medicine seemed to be getting thicker as the days went on. Apparently I was allowed to thin the solution and shake thoroughly before application; a detail I'd missed. I waited instead.

It seemed like I'd waited long enough to even start the removal process, when first one and then a second wart appeared on the affected finger. I ignored them until I found that their presence was attracting the constant attention of the nearby thumb, which ran itself over the bumpy skin repeatedly throughout the course of the day. The warts had become a silent worry I needed to dispose of. Compound W came to the rescue.

I know I am not alone. Not everybody has warts on their skin, but we all have bumpy spots on our souls, problem areas that need to be corrected before they demand any more of our time and attention and hinder us from fully devoting ourselves to the work we were put here to do. We tend to ignore those difficult areas in our relationship with God until we realize that they are not going to go away on their own; action of some type is required.

Perhaps it's not any one particularly sinful action we are dealing with; none of the Ten Commandments has been broken, we love God and (most of!) those with whom we share the earth. Some of us are just prone to worry about things over which we have no control or what what the future might hold. But worry is itself a spiritual indication that our trust and confidence in our Creator's love for us is not where it needs to be. The numerous times the words, “do not worry”, “do not fear”, and “do not be afraid” appear in the Bible are an indication of how important this issue is to God, and yet they are commands we break with astonishing regularity.

How funny that the solution for the problem is likewise “Compound W”...multiple applications of the Word of God. Soaking ourselves repeatedly, consistently several times a day in what God has to say peels back the layers of wrong thinking and justifications with which we've covered our actions until the root of the problem can be uncovered and corrected.

I have wanted to interfere several times in the wart removal process. Impatient to get on with my day, I've raised the finger to meet the brush, painting the medicine on instead of waiting for the drip. And I've tried to hurry the peeling action of the drug by picking at the area. Instead of moving things along I only delayed the process, as I then had to wait for the irritated skin to heal before beginning the application process once more.

When spiritual change doesn't happen fast enough to suit us, we tend to take matters in our own hands, as well. We want a quick fix, a one-time prayer, a laying-on of hands, a single church sermon that will set us straight. And sometimes God works in lightning-bolt fashion as He did with Saul-turned-Paul on the Damascus road. But more often He leads us down a path of daily application of time in His Presence, reading His Book, developing a relationship with Him that eventually kills the sin virus working within us, removed the dead evidence of our old lives and makes us fresh and new once more.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV)

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