Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Poison !

"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;" Hebrews 12: 15

How many of you have ever had a bad case of Poison Oak or Poison Ivy? If you are as allergic to it as I am you may have tried to put it in the far corner of your mind so you won't have to remember it! One of the most miserable times that I can remember was about 35 years ago when as a newlywed I was talked into "helping" my husband with some trees he was cutting. He was selling them for pulpwood and he had me piling the brush for him. Evidently some of the trees had poison ivy growing on them but I must not have known it. Anyway, the end result was absolutely horrible! I had a itchy, oozy, rash all over my arms and my stomach! It just about drove me crazy! If you've ever had a poison oak/ivy incident you can identify with me! I tried every home remedy I knew but finally had to go to the doctor and get a shot and a pack of prednisone pills to take for a week.

My husband still kids me and says that it cost more to cure me of the poison oak than he made from the load of logs he sold! ha I have had many run-ins with it since but none as bad as that time! Now hubby takes special care to keep the poison oak killed from around our house and yard. This year we've had much more rain than usual though and the poison oak has thrived. He has worked hard trying to kill it before it spreads further but somehow he missed some that was growing up the side of a tree.

I could see them from the kitchen window. The vine on one tree was bright green, lush, and thriving! The vine on the other tree was dead and brown. And when I saw them side by side like that, the verse from Hebrews 12: 15 came to my mind. I thought about myself and the times that I do things that I know God is not pleased with. I specifically thought about the tendency I have toward harboring bitterness in my heart. It was like God spoke to me through those vines on the trees and revealed to me that my bitterness is just as poison to my spirit as the poison oak is to my body! Wow! I avoid poison oak like the plague but am I that careful about avoiding bitterness? I should be!

Am I letting bitterness thrive unchecked in my heart which will in the long run hurt not just me but others? Is this bitterness covering my spirit like the beautiful green...but very poisonous vine is covering the tree?

Or am I giving the Lord permission to pull out that bitterness and let it die and dry the dead vine on the that it will stop hurting me and others around me?

God's Word says this about it in Ephesians 4: 31-32 "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

May God help us to NOT let that root of bitterness take over and poison our lives!



Kay Martin said...

I'm even hesitant to look at your picture long. It makes me itch. I have it growing all around this house and I am so allergic to it. I had a friend spray something that killed it down for a while. You have reminded me to get his formula and spray it myself. Yucky stuff.

Yolanda said...

I've never had contact with poison ivy, but it is something that I've been concerned with up in the mountains. I wonder if it is near our cabin?

Great visual, Marilyn, because bitterness is not pleasing to God and it so destroys our witness and "us" when we don't deal with our stuff.

Love ya

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Never had it, but certainly don't want it.

I loved the way you tied it in with your message!

Peggy said...

Poison Ivy is pretty to look at especially in the fall when it turns a reddish color. It is lush and green in the summer . Used as an
analogy to satan--both appear to be thriving, but oh do not touch; you will be negatively affected because of it.
Thanks for sharing,

Deborah said...

I've had poison ivy a few times, but not for several years now. My brother had it so bad one time, he ended up in the hospital, then for years he got a shot every spring. Both he and my mom could get poison ivy in the winter just by touching firewood!
Great spiritual application, Marilyn!

Leah said...

I have never had poison ivy and I'd like to not have it. Unfortunately I have had the kind of poison that gets in the heart one too many times. Great reminder.


Joyful said...

Bitterness is definitely a deadly poison. I have to admit to harbouring some myself lately as the weeks are stretching on and on in the care of my Dad. My sisters and I, in such daily, close contact, have to continually pray for the Lord to keep our hearts softened to Him and one another.

Thanks for this reminder,