“Blow, don’t sniff.” I heard an exasperated mother’s voice as she bent over her toddler with a tissue to her nose. The child shook his head and dashed back to the swings on the playground where his peers’ giggles beckoned. The mother sighed and stuffed the tissue into her pocket.
“Allergies. He’ll get an earache or sinus infection, I just know it.”
It seems to be human nature to sniff it back down, doesn’t it? I don’t mean mucus so much as the not so good stuff in our lives – irritants to our faith-walk. We don’t have the time nor want to put forth the effort to “blow” them out of our lives. We’d rather not deal with them, or think we are too busy to take the time right now, so we shove them back into some dark corner of our souls. There these irritants will sit, and fester – whatever they are. We each have our own. Just as our bodies attack a virus or grain of pollen, The Holy Spirit had surrounded the irritant to get our attention, but we ignore that and go on about our day thinking it will go away and not bother us.
But, that doesn’t happen. What was once a sniffle, a small irritant to our relationship with God, can balloon into a full-fledged infection. The virus will spread through every relationship we have until it distorts our view of the world. We get an earache, no longer hearing the beauty of nature. We get stopped up with worry, doubt and disgust until we can no
longer breathe in God’s grace. We become feverish with guilt yet still trudge on through the day like a trooper and refuse to go home, rest and heal.
Jesus offers us a tissue. It is called prayer. He tells us to blow it all out of us in confession to Him and He will heal us. For some of us, it may take several blows to get the gunk out. For most of us, we may have chronic sinus problems – daily irritants like seasonal allergies which seem to plague our attitudes. Our immunities are chronically low as we struggle with the pollutions of this worldly existence – greed, selfishness, anger, gluttony, jealousy, stress.
Yet each day, there He is, tissue in hand. And, just as the child on the playground, we can come when He calls, or return to the swings and just sniffle.