We’ve had Sarge on medications that are supposed to repel fleas and ticks. Well, one day I was scratching his back and noticed a strange lump. Upon further investigation, I found a swollen, tidily tucked in tick buried deep in his flesh under all that fur. It was pretty big, and clearly full of Sarge’s blood.
I know better than to pull off a tick. The head can remain inside the flesh and spread infection. When you kill a tick by scraping it off, it will spit poison before it dies. And then the head itself is buried in dog/cat/deer/human and causes infection.
I didn’t know how to get the tick off without causing further problems. So I Googled tick removal. Looked like an easy process — if I’d had the proper tools — which I didn’t. I ordered the tool I’d need from our local pet store and called the vet to have the tick removed from Sarge, figuring this would give me the opportunity to observe how an expert removes a tick. Slowly, firm pressure. It took a moment, but the tick backed out. Then we took a close look at the wretched thing to make sure it was fully intact and still living. It was – but not for long.
Sarge’s vet prescribed a better medication. Along with the new meds to ward off fleas and ticks, and my handy-dandy de-ticking tool, we’re safe. Woohoo!
Ticks remind me of bad habits. Sometimes we don’t even know we have them they’re buried so deep. We don’t even think about them. We go on our merry way, not considering the nastiness of what we’re carrying around. And all the while we fail to examine our lives, the bad habit becomes bloated. When we do (finally) recognize that we’ve become infected and try to do something about getting rid of the habit, we want it done fast and easy. Fast and easy can mean leaving the poison in our systems – or worse, substituting another ticky-tacky habit to replace the old one.
So — how do we rid ourselves of bad habits (sometimes called Satan’s strongholds)?
Read the Bible. The Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting tween soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Hebrews 4:12)
Recognize the habit for what it is: dangerous and destructive.
Confess and ask forgiveness. God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9)
Depend on Him to give you the guidance and strength to overcome. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your path straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Continue to examine your attitudes, actions and activities frequently. Keep your faith genuine.
And give thanks to Jesus who continues the work of transforming us into His likeness.