Confessions and lessons.

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I just learnt a lesson I’d like to share, humiliating though it is, perhaps it may help someone else.
I should have known better than to get upset, I really should, but the pile of stinky sludge dumped at the side of my allotment plot had seeped through the netting and killed all my kale plants. I could guess what had happened, my “plot neighbour’s” well meaning, but erratic, son had cleaned out her well, so she didn’t have to carry water (she’s been sick).
My frustration boiled. He could so easily have dumped the sludge on the other side where it wouldn’t have been on anyone’s plot. A spark of anger kindled. Thoughts of how I’d just got the plants perfect to trim outer leaves for daily consumption, how I’d come specially to pick them etc. all added fuel to my frustration. I finally gave vent to it in a message to his mum, tactfully worded, but showing my inner indignation. It was in replying to her sad and abject apology that I realised…
Of course she didn’t need to pay me for the plants, replace the plants etc. I said, squirming a little. It was the after thought that brought home the lesson. I’d better warn her I thought…
You see I’d been bitten/stung by some unknown creature and it had been pretty bad, a throbbing swollen thumb and a patchy red line traveling up my arm – it got infected! It was as I wrote the words “it was something between my plot and yours” that it hit me. You see, like everyone, I get my share of afflictions, but they usually don’t take root as this one had. I pray and rebuke them, and they go, almost always. I had been wondering why this bite had become so bad. The penny dropped. No, God was not punishing me, but, because my heart wasn’t right, because it was full of anger and frustration, I lacked the power of the Lord. My defences were down.
It was such a simple parallel when I stopped to think about it. The sting of sin and the infection of myriad negative thoughts had spread. As it could have become life threatening had it not been treated (I’m having to take strong doses of antibiotics and antihistamine) even so, had it continued, it would have had consequences for my spiritual life, making it hard to live the joy of the spirit. Thankfully both are now healing fast and (Rom 8:28) I learnt a good lesson. No matter how frustrating something is my first reaction must be to forgive, Lord help me do better!

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