I was next to our fence a couple weeks ago, trying to re-connect a fence top to the post. There was a vine climbing up the post, most of the leaves were gone, I was cautious, but still found out too late, it was poison ivy.
I came inside immediately and washed my arms with cold water, soap and such. I can only imagine that it would be a lot worse if I hadn’t. Compared to my first bout with it, I think my rash is very minor. Why? I know what to do now. I don’t let it fester. I use rubbing alcohol and chlorinated water to help dry out the rash, I don’t scratch it, and it makes the difference.
It’s the same way with difficulties and even sin in my life. Once I recognize a pattern of problems and the paths that lead to sin, I can stop myself from falling into the pit of troubles before it becomes hard to get out of it.
I am redeemed from the pit of sin and failure (Psalm 103:1-4) and with His help, I no longer have to stumble along with the blind in the darkness of a life without God.
If I am wandering too close to the danger I once embraced, I can recognize the signs and turn another way (Jeremiah 31:21). Just like with the poison ivy, I now have pictures on my phone to identify suspicious plants.
Scripture is the same way, verses, stories, even passages put to song, can help me to keep from harm.
How do you help keep your feet on the right path, O Best Beloved?
(See Psalm 119:105 for more encouragement.)