God is garlic
I’m pretty sure the only real problem living here at Dandelion is the mosquitoes. If you’ve talked with me or read many of my posts so far, you’ve heard me complain about them. I hate them with a passion, and have told them so, yet they persist on liking me. Evil bugs.
Even though the weather is humid and in the 80’s or 90’s, I’ve been confining myself to long jeans and even socks to try to get as few bites as possible. I sleep in a mosquito net, but they can still get in through the holes, so I sleep with my shirt tucked into my pajama pants tucked into my socks. In the morning, the stray mosquitoes who have found their way into the net are so full from the night’s meal that they can’t even fly away. So I tell them how much I hate them as I squash them in a tissue. But my room is really the safest place to be – there are far more mosquitoes in the washroom, shower, toilet, and anywhere outside. Listening to me play the piano must make people laugh as each melody is randomly interrupted by a smack here or there.
From the beginning, I’ve been trying to somehow redeem the experience with these nasty creatures by discovering some spiritual parallel, but I just couldn’t. Until now.
Just as I sat down to write a blog post on something, I saw a mosquito on my desk. I swatted at it and missed, and as it flew away, I jumped at it and followed it mercilessly through the office, daring it to come and get me so I could get it. All my energy and focus was on that one tiny big until I could kill it.
Suddenly, in the midst of my mosquito chase, it hit me.
When you first see a mosquito, you might think it was harmless. Just a little tiny, tiny bug, right? Most of the time, you don’t even know you’ve been bitten. But in reality, it sucks your blood, your life. Afterwards, it leaves a painful wound. The wound, especially when itched, often turns into a scar. Sound familiar?
Mosquitoes seem a lot like sin to me. We might think “oh, it’s so small,” and it might be small. But each one sucks a little bit of life away from you, takes you a little further from the “abundant life” Jesus wants for us. The act of sin might seem painless, but afterward there will be a wound, as many people can testify. Though the wound may go away, there may still be scars as well.
So, what do I do about mosquitoes? Well, when I see one in my room, I absolutely cannot rest until I know it is dead. Completely dead. What if I treated sin that way? What if I hated sin in my life like God hates it, and I didn’t rest until I’d killed whatever it was God showed me was flawed in my life? But He is also a gracious God and doesn’t just leave us to fend for ourselves. Rather… well, back to the mosquito parallel.
Did you know that one of the best ways to keep mosquitoes away is to eat garlic? It gets in your bloodstream, and the mosquitoes don’t like it, so they don’t bite you! (Maybe that’s why I’ve had surprisingly few bites here – they eat a lot of garlic.)
Whoa, now that’s cool. In the same way, God’s method of dealing with sin isn’t primarily to run around the room trying to squish it wherever it appears. Honestly, there’s too much sin in my life to simply attempt to squash it all at once (almost as much sin as the number of mosquitoes in the shower…)! God’s strategy is far better – He comes inside us. The Holy Spirit fills us and gets in our heart, our blood. The more of Him we allow to penetrate us, the more we’ll find that sin simply doesn’t bite us anymore. The devil stays away because he hates the taste of Jesus. (And it turns out there are way more health benefits to eating garlic than just mosquito repellant – continued parallel!)
What sin are you struggling with right now? Do you hear that annoying little buzz in your ear and think you can’t get away? If you can see the sin right in front of you, I suggest you just smash it into the ground. But for you ultimate protection, all your effort will fall short. We need the bread – er, garlic – of life, Jesus Himself. We need the Spirit in us to put on the armor of God around our heart and soul. And He will. Have you let Him take over? For your own sake, starting eating the garlic right now. Ask God for more of Him. It’s a prayer I know He will answer. It’s not about you, it’s all about Him. Praise God.