“But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.” Jeremiah 17:10 (The Message)
I promised my husband it wouldn’t happen again. But I failed, and we are now the proud owners of yet one more stray! This time round, I found a young spaniel-mix running frantically from person to person, outside my youngest son’s school. I really didn’t even think twice, I just scooped him up, and placed him in my lap on the front seat of my van.
It wasn’t until he had been on my lap for a couple of minutes that I discovered he’d brought company — fleas — hundreds of them! They were piggy-backing on each other, there were so many! I opened my window, and plucked fleas off by the dozen until I got him home, where we immediately set to work on him!
An hour and a half later, Joshua emerged from the shower a very different puppy than the one who went in! Golden fur sparkled cleanly, and there was not a flea in sight! He looked happy to be relieved of those unwelcome “guests”, and who could blame him?
However, those outward guests had done more than just hop and around and make the puppy scratch. He had ingested them and now had internal parasites. The outward was clean, but now we had to deal with the inward. The inward was not immediately noticeable, not like the outward. It would have been easy to stop at the outward appearance; and ignore, or be oblivious to the inward.
My new puppy may look great, but if he can’t put on weight because the internal parasites are stealing all the nutrition from the food he eats, the outward is not going to do anything for him!
And yet, how easy it is for us to focus on the outward. “Her skirt is too short!” “His jeans are too tight!” It’s important to work on the outer appearance of those who are a part of our lives, but the inward is a lot more important. We can tell a girl to wear longer skirts, and she may comply, but if all she sees and hears from others is that short skirts is the way to get the guy, she will “ingest” those lies. It is a vicious cycle; one feeds on the other, slowly destroying lives.
In the lives of those around us, we can ask the Lord for wisdom when talking and ministering. Let’s remove the “fleas” we can see, and ask the Lord to deal with the internal things that we cannot see, but know are there.
I promised my husband it wouldn’t happen again, and I am true to my word; but excuse me please, while I go and check on the ginger tom that has been hanging around our back yard…