Today was an emotional day for me and not for any reason I would have ever predicted. We had a very busy Saturday planned, we had a soccer game, a birthday party and then a family-fun day event at Talks-a-lot's school. We spent a lot of time outside in the sunny 88 degree weather and both of the kids seemed to thrive off their time outdoors. Chunks-a-lot's bandage that covers her central line got a little wet and dirty so I had to take her home early from the family-fun day so I could get her bathed and put a fresh bandage over her line. As I was taking her shirt off, I noticed something small and black in the center of her back. Upon closer examination, I realized that it was a tick. I immediately became angry at the tick, seeing it deeply burrowed into my little girl's soft, baby skin, taking from her the blood that she cannot afford to spare. Albeit, it was probably a very small amount of blood, but that did not seem to change my feeling of rage toward this tiny parasite. Remembering my childhood days, I got a needle, burned it over a flame to make it scalding hot and pressed it on the back of the tick. Then, I quickly snatched the tick from her skin and mashed it angrily in a paper towel. At first, I thought that I saw one of its legs still embedded in her back and fully expected to spend the rest of our evening in the E.R. What I once thought was a black leg soon disappeared and after talking with a nurse from her pediatrician's office, I was assured that we could take a wait and see approach. Apparently, the area will become swollen and inflamed if the leg is still there, in which case a doctor will have to remove it.
For whatever reason, this entire situation made me extremely emotional. Because, why her? After everything she's been through and all she's endured, why do things like this continue to happen to her? It might be something insignificant in the eyes of most people, but it seemed so invasive to me. This precious, innocent little girl attacked by something that seems so sinister. I know, I sound crazy, I mean it's just a tick!
As I rocked her to sleep tonight, I started thinking about how that tick is a close parallel to the sin and evil that try to pull us away from our walk with God. Burrowing its roots deep within us, Satan tries to suck away the lifeline of our eternity, the strength of our faith, the endurance of our journey down a very narrow path towards Christ. And we might pick at it, pull at it, try to quickly rid ourselves of these temptations, but just one root, one single leg can cause a foothold of evil in our lives. For God is the only one who can press on the backs of our sins, make them release their deep roots and bring us up from the oppression of the evil one who so desperately longs for our failure. So often I am guilty of trying to be too self-efficient. As though I am capable of overcoming my own temptations with just a flick of the wrist. But I fail to realize that I have only removed the obvious part of what plagues me and those roots of evil are still left within me, swelling up inside of me until I fall into them again. Following Jesus is more than just a statement, it's a minute-by-minute, decision-by-decision, daily walk. It requires a vulnerability that goes against everything society teaches us. And with that vulnerability and complete trust comes the ability to call on our Savior when we are being attacked, to come and rescue us from our enemies. They're out for blood, they burrow deep and the only way to rid ourselves of these parasites is to let God take control of every aspect of our lives and fill us with His spirit. A spirit that can rise up like a scalding flame and destroy the strongholds that Satan has in our lives.
It may have just been a tick, but at that moment, it was so much more. And the awesome lesson that God taught me through this experience was humbling. As her mother, I would have done anything to make that horrible thing release its grip on my little girl. And as our Father, He is waiting and willing to do the same; we just have to trust Him and realize that we cannot fight this battle alone. The devil is out for blood and Jesus is after our heart, and it's our decision as to who will take root within us.