If you Google how to get rid of poison ivy there are 794,000 results, and I’ve tried a good chunk of them: white vinegar, lemon juice and salt, rubbing alcohol, calamine lotion, Ivarest, Tecnu, and Zanfel. You name it, I’ve tried it with little success. (Personally, Zanifil I’ve found works the best. It’s a bit pricey, but if it shortens the duration by a couple of days, it’s worth it.)
I get poison ivy or poison oak at least once a year. I’ve learned to avoid any plant with three to five leaves whether they are shiny or not—better safe than sorry. However, I have boys, and boys love to romp in the woods especially since they aren’t allergic to poison ivy. Their clothing still holds the oils and sorting the laundry, will cause their poor mother to break out into itchy blisters which spread all over. I now wear those rubber yellow dishwashing gloves that cover up to your elbows to do laundry. I may look funny, but I don’t care.
There is nothing like poison ivy to remind you of your flesh. And by flesh, I don’t mean just skin. I mean the ugly side of us. The Bible refers to it as inequities. It’s the spiteful, angry, sinful side of us that, for the most part, we keep under wraps until something causes us to snap, and the Kraken is loosed. A wise woman once told me, “Never let yourself get too hungry, too tired, or too stressed, or you’ll be more likely to sin.” I’d add “don’t get poison ivy” to the list for the constant irritation wears down a person’s defenses.
Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). In our hearts, we truly want to do the right thing. We may desire to read the Bible every morning, to be nice to our neighbor, and eat well because the Bible says our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. Yet, how often do we cave, justify our actions, or do it anyway and feel guilty later?
So, how do we battle our flesh?
Follow Jesus’s example—Pray. Whenever Jesus needed to power-up, He stole away to be alone with God and pray. Prayer helps to not only align our will with God’s, but it strengthens our spirit to overcome our flesh. Sometimes a simple prayer is enough, but sometimes you need to dig in, get down on your knees, and keep at it.
Even Jesus had to go back to pray a second time in the garden in Gethsemane before He was crucified. After checking on Peter, James, and John, He went back to His prayer spot, fell with his face to the ground, and prayed, “May this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Jesus already knew death lie before him, but He wanted His Father’s will to be done. So, He prayed again until He sweated blood so that His flesh could do what His mind already knew.
—not my will, Lord, but Yours.
Don’t miss a post! To sign up for my weekly blog, click here: Lorri’s blog.