Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. Psalm 116:7
Our household has been a mess lately. It’s been quite the medical circus. Honestly, it’s my fault. See, not only am I a stay-at-home mom and educator, but I play Dr. Mom on the side. I avoid going to the clinic if at all possible.
This year began with concern over some of our pets. I will not identify their kind in deference to my more genteel friends. Our beloved pets became distressed due to bugs they’d picked up from a bad bag of bedding. We were able to diagnose this, and we found a budget-friendly medicine locally to treat them. One treatment a week for three weeks along with a good washing and cage cleaning did the trick. Success!
Shortly after I began treating our pets, I noticed I had a blistering rash on one of my hands. I studied different images and I believed it was eczema and treated it as such. This wasn’t a successful diagnosis and treatment plan, however. It was growing worse, and people began noticing it, showing concern over it, and offering free consultations. I tried the different creams and ointments they suggested, but there was no change – it continued to grow worse. It was painful and itchy, it was hot, and eventually I began experiencing arthritis-like pain in my joints. By this point, I also had it on my wrists, and two of my children had similar rashes on their hands. Then my kids and I all had what appeared to be hives spreading across places on our faces and down our upper bodies, but these hives didn’t respond to antihistamines or creams either, and soon they too were blistering. I was beginning to feel desperate, but not enough to go to the clinic, we didn’t need any more medical bills to pay on.
This all came to head when a couple of people saw our sores and thought it looked like ringworm. I cannot tell you how sick I felt about this. Ringworm has such a nasty connotation to it, doesn’t it? The size of the areas we were covered in sent me over the edge worrying about how many people we had come into contact with and how many of them probably had signs of our affliction on them. I was horrified by the possibility that this was true, but that same day, my husband came home and showed me that he too had these spots beginning to show on him. I ran to the store and bought tubes of antifungal. Day and night we were treating ourselves with it. We were washing our bedding everyday; our towels and clothing twice a day. I quarantined the family members who had rashes outside of their clothing. I contacted people and apologized for exposing them. I cried and became quite depressed. All the while the rashes became blisters, the blisters became bullae, and I learned the difference between each term is merely the size of the problem. Nothing was clearing up, it was all becoming worse. The palm of my daughter’s hand became a bulla that literally was growing before our eyes. In a matter of hours, it grew from the size of a dime to the size of her palm. I had to take her in, I had to tell the clinic we had ringworm, and I couldn’t treat it on my own.
The LORD said through Jeremiah in chapter 6, verse16: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” He also said in this same verse that his people’s answer was, “We will not walk in it.” That was my answer during this time. I was so set on not needing professional medical aid, that I stood at the crossroads self-diagnosing and self-condemning with everything I could find on the shelves of this world. I made excuses when wise friends told me to go to the clinic for advice and medical attention until the reality became unavoidable. My own understanding was foolishness, I had to fall on the mercy and wisdom of the Scriptures as in Proverbs 3:7-8, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Let go of that pride, Lorinda. Shun it. Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
I took my daughter in for medical attention and listened humbly as the nurse practitioner explained that I had caused an allergic reaction to become a very big problem. These rashes were not ringworm or eczema, they were sites where our skin had come into contact with the medication we had used to treat our pets. Sites where our pets had left little kisses tainted with the medicine which caused a reaction to breakout and blister on our skin. She prescribed a steroid ointment and an antihistamine which alleviated things. It has taken weeks to recover from this, and not all of our skin has recovered just yet, but I am thankful that our LORD sees all of His children as recoverable. In my spirit, I am certainly humbled from this lesson, and this has brought me rest and renewed health.
LORD, I pray thanks. Thank you for the lessons You have allowed for us to grow in. I pray we will not return for remedial lessons, but that we will remain on the path You have made straight for us. You said in Isaiah 30 that in repentance and rest is our salvation and in quietness and trust is our strength – we have this only through You. You have shown yourself as You said in Isaiah 30:18. You, LORD, long to be gracious to us; You rise to show your compassion. For You, LORD, are a God of justice. Thank You. We love you, LORD, and we wait upon you. Amen.