It was 1984 and we had spent the day climbing the Colorado Rocky Mountains. By late that afternoon I had begun to get very itchy. That evening I knew that I had encountered poison sumac. Within 48 hours I was covered with infected welts. I was in torment.
Three days later Michael took me to the emergency room. They said if I had waited much longer I would have contracted blood poisoning. Every part of my body was oozing infectious poison sumac. Day and night, for one week I could only lay on our carpet waiting for the medicine to take effect. Today I still carry faint scars from that experience almost 30 years ago. When we were hiking I had no idea that I had brushed up against something so potentially dangerous.
Temptation is like poison ivy. At first you might not recognize it. Later you realize that you were playing with poison. You feel guilty. You either learn from the experience or you ignore it. What have you done or seen lately that is putting you into a position of temptation – an attractive neighbor or co-worker? pornography? experimenting with drugs? sensual movies or magazines? perverted thoughts?
Each of us has temptations facing us each day. The first step in overcoming them is recognition. The next step is running. The bible tells us that we are to “run from evil.” You are not strong enough to play with temptations, therefore running from it is the smartest thing to do. The third step is use a simple format prayer each time the temptation comes your way.
“Lord, I recognize that this_____________ is a temptation in my life. I am not strong enough to fight it. Give me the desire to want to overcome it. Give me the power to run from it each time it comes my way.” In Jesus name I pray. amen
Remember, poison ivy is all around us. We must learn to train our eyes to begin to recognize it. Don’t let sin cost you your soul eternally.