Growing up, I wasn’t the most athletic of children. I played a little intramural volleyball and basketball in elementary, but that was mainly for something to do. I took ballet class for six years and always was in the back line during performances. I took swim lessons for two years. But my lack of athleticism was NOT due to any physical ailment (other than being extra chunky, which DOES make moving quickly hard).
So when I started walking with a limp in fifth grade, it was a bit surprising. Truth is there was a lump on the bottom of my foot. And every step I took hurt – hurt like little ember of fire had embedded itself in the ball of my foot. So I picked at the lump, trying to get it out. But it only got larger, and hurt more.
Eventually I convinced my mother to take me to the doctor. The doctor took one look at my foot and said Plantar Something-or-the-other. Basically it meant warts. And they were the kind that if you pick at them, they get deeper, bigger, spread …well, they get worse. A lot worse. So the doctor put a bunch of painful chemicals on my foot, mummy-wrapped it in tape, and told me not to get it wet for a while. And then to come back in a few weeks to do it all again.
I really kinda hoped after the first time that I wouldn’t have to go back. The chemicals hanging out on the bottom of my foot turned the burning ember of fire that had permanently embedded itself into the ball of my foot into a raging inferno. Walking became hard work.
The second time around didn’t hurt any less, but it also didn’t hurt anymore either. This time, however, the chemicals worked. After a couple weeks, the wart that was the size of a nickel by that point, literally popped out of my foot. It was so gross and cool all at the same time.
But I’ve been thinking recently…my wart experience was a lot like sin. It starts small – so small you might not even notice it. And then it grows. And then you notice it, because it’s become painful (thank God). And then you try to get rid of it on your own, and then it continues to grow. So, then you go to the doctor (aka God) and He puts chemicals on it, and it hurts SO MUCH WORSE…or you notice how much it has permeated your life…or it feels like all of a sudden it’s such a bigger deal in your life than it was before, and you wonder why. But eventually, when you allow God to do what He needs to do, it “pops out”.
Now, really, sin rarely just “pops out” of your life, but it DOES become manageable, and eventually, with God as your focus (NOT the sin), it will be conquered.