I've recently written about a broken lawnmower, storms and wasp stings. This time, it’s splinters! Those annoying little bits of wood or tree that push themselves under your skin. In case you’re wondering, yes I recently picked up three in the palm of my hand. Perhaps you can relate to what I’ve noticed about them.
They’re incredibly easy to get in but difficult to get out
Despite being small they can cause great discomfort and pain
They usually come unexpectedly
This was not my first encounter with those wretched splinters. In fact, it wasn’t all that long ago that some very fine splinters also made their way into my palm. They came from picking up the clippings from bushes I’d just pruned. Yes, the same ones that concealed the wasp nest. Perhaps simple gardening is more hazardous than I previously thought. Anyway, I learned from that experience and wore gloves the next time. Of course, this stopped the splinters but not the wasps - Doh! (see this article ******* for more about them if you missed it).
In the most recent incident, I collected the three splinters from a timber house stump. I was crouching around to collect some things, lost my balance and used the stump to catch myself. No gloves this time. After some internal grumblings, I made my way to the bathroom to acquire the surgical tools I needed to remove these invaders. The tiny splinters had made themselves quite comfortable under the skin, I couldn’t even see the opening they used to gain entry. How do they do that?
I began the tedious and uncomfortable job of forcing them out. It took time, more than I care to admit but I’m sure you can understand. I don’t enjoy poking myself with sharp objects. I was by the window and the sink because I needed good light and water for this job. Finally, I was victorious and the marks in my hand are almost healed as I write this newsletter.
Here are a few thoughts on some truths about this experience I’d like to share. We can pick up splinters unexpectedly in everyday life, as we work, rest and play. They’re the hurtful words we hear, the lies we believe, the disappointment and failures of others and ourselves. They so easily get under our skin. If we don’t deal with them quickly, they fester, get infected and cause us more harm and pain. Then they’re even more difficult to remove and take longer to heal. This is bound to make us grumpy and unpleasant to be around.
When we walk with Jesus, He will both expose these splinters and help us remove them. He understands their insidiousness, the way they push themselves uninvited upon us. His Word will be the light we need to identify them, nothing can hide from His light. His life-giving water will wash them away and heal the wound. He will speak the truth over any lies. He will heal our hurts and strengthen us. He will empower us to forgive others and ourselves. Then we’ll be free to move on, He is always with us.
When we know we’re entering a situation with a high risk of splinters, we can put on the gloves. This applies spiritually as well, we have God’s armour for our protection. Sometimes we can get caught off guard and a splinter gets in. The first thing to do is Stop For A Moment so you can seek the Lord and deal with it.
Don’t allow any splinters to remain inside and infect you.
Also, when you find yourself a little off balance or being pushed around, be careful what you lean on. If we lean on the way of the world and man, we’ll be stumped. It may seem like we’re being helped but all we’ll be getting are splinters of unforgiveness, anger, revenge, hopelessness and bitterness. Lean on Jesus, He’ll support you and prop you up and never give you splinters. We need to get Jesus under our skin, make Him shine through every part of us. When we do, those splinters don’t stand a chance, He’ll even evict them for us.