June 3, 2020by Reverend Dan on June 3, 2020
“God made everything with a place and a purpose.”
I’m a tad upset with Noah.
Have you ever forgotten something existed for a long time? Just never thought about it? And then, all of a sudden, you’re reminded of it in a big way?
I had that experience recently. Chiggers. The last time I thought about chiggers I was four years old and one bit me and it itched like all get out. Then, over the next 56 years I forgot about them. Until a few weekends ago. My wife and I were cleaning the lot we own next to our house, and I made the mistake of going out to weed eat in a pair of shorts and a T- shirt.
That night, I noticed my elbow started to itch. Then I noticed a red bump. No problem, I thought a mosquito must have bitten me, but then the itch continued to get worse, so I rubbed a Benadryl Stick on it. It calmed the itch some and the itch didn’t keep me awake because let’s face it, I’m 60-years old and working in the yard on weekends wears me out.
The next morning when I woke up, in addition to my elbow, my ankle and knee were itching. Sure enough, red bumps came up in both places and I start thinking, “What got a hold of me yesterday?” This time I took a couple of Benadryl Allergy pills and that seemed to work.
It was the third day that really got to me. When I woke up, I had a couple of places itching back . . . uhm . . . where Forest Gump got shot. It was then that it finally dawned on me what had happened. Chiggers.
Which leads me back to Noah. Have you ever wondered why things like chiggers and mosquitos and gnats and ticks were loaded on the ark? What purpose do they serve? The only information I found on chiggers is that they are food for pseudo scorpions (whatever they are). The article said they were at the bottom of the food chain, but they sure did make a meal out of me.
Mosquitos are the same – they’re at the bottom of the food chain, but they also carry disease. Not a real selling point for having them around. Gnats? Same thing –birds, bats and larger insects eat them, but that’s about the extent of their existence, except for flying around your face when you’re outside trying to do something. And ticks? They’re awful. While they feed small reptiles and amphibians and birds, they also serve to thin out the population of certain animals by sucking their blood and weakening them so another predator can kill them. Darwin’s natural selection at its finest. Yuk.
Why, Noah? What were you thinking? I could have avoided this whole, ugly incident if Noah had stepped up and denied chiggers passage on the ark.
Then I remembered: it wasn’t Noah who made the decision to load the animals on the ark. It was God. And scripture says that God made everything with a place and a purpose. So, that means there is a reason for their being, even if we can’t see it. I guess God’s ways really aren’t our ways, because if that had been my decision, I’d have sent the chiggers and ticks and mosquitos back to customs and they’d have missed the boat.
It wasn’t God’s fault I didn’t take precautions that day. And it wasn’t God’s fault that I was the chigger buffet. They were just doing what they were created to do. I could have dressed differently, sprayed myself with a repellant, or any of a number of preventative measures, but I didn’t and that’s on me. It’s the same with sin. God doesn’t make me sin. We simply don’t take the precautions we need to avoid finding ourselves suffering the consequences of sin.
So often we blame God and question Him, when in reality He has said all along that He has plans not to hurt us or harm us. Maybe we just need to be more careful and look inward before the blaming starts.
All that being said . . . I still hate chiggers.
“Father, Help us to own the choices we make, and to realize that there is a purpose and place for all of creation. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”