exposure therapy

I was in the basement when I saw something scurry past. It was huge and  a spider with an egg sack on it.  I was horrified. It was silver dollar sized and looked like a mini hairy legged tarantula. It ran into a rather large pile of Kia’s doll clothes. Lovely. I knew I didn’t want that egg salk hatching but I didn’t really want to rifle all those clothes to find it either. I pulled up the courage as I horrified envisioned hundreds of them hatching.
Before I started picking up articles I realized I was going to have to do something to catch this spider because I didn’t want to squish it. So I went and got a jar. I finally trapped the spider in the jar and gingerly slid the lid underneath. Suddenly I was staring at closer range than ever before with something that made me squirm and shiver. There enclosed in that jar was that huge ugly spider.

At first I didn’t want to look at it at all for that matter even hold the jar. I brought it upstairs and put it as far away and told myself that my husband could let it out somewhere far from our house. But first I did need to do our home school duty and show my daughter and let her learn a little more about spiders. I explained it was a mama spider and other sorts of information in my most “I am not scared” matter of fact voice.  Kia was fascinated. We talked for a while. Andrew ended up not letting that spider go for several weeks actually and I began to look at it every few days I’d pick up the jar and look at the spider. Each day with less trepidation. Soon the spider didn’t bother me much. Today I found another of her kind and swiftly dealt with it. No biggie.It struck me suddenly that I had become desensitized to the horror of spiders. I realized it has also happened somewhat with my more dreaded fear of snakes since we had a mama snake have her babies in our window well. I see lots of snakes and while I don’t like them they don’t make me die with fright either like they used too.

Exposure treatment  works and in our hearts in regards to sin it works too well. When I tolerate that “little” sin of complaining to creep in. When the horror leaves after I’ve gone off on a tirade of frustration. When it’s no longer a big deal to allow some of the world to shape my ideas, my entertainment, my limits, my style. When not praying is just “being too busy” and perfectly “normal” for a mother. The “tiny” black widows slip in and well, we allow them to crawl behind a curtain in our life and sit there having babies making themselves comfortable in our turf. We begin to not notice them. Just as the dust accumulates in my house I notice it less and less. How the clothes on my dresser just stack and I don’t notice until it’s to the ceiling. We don’t notice the ordinary sins in our life, we tolerate them. The constant exposure deadens us to what it is actually doing to us. The danger we are in.

Today I told God to please not allow me to live with any sin releasing it’s toxic gas into the air of my heart. I want to live with a pure heart one that is constantly cleansed by coming to Christ for forgiveness as soon as I’m aware I’ve relied on my flesh instead of His Spirit. I want to come right back into His presence and communion. I want to walk in that sweet peace and communion. I don’t want the spiders and snakes of sin to live in my heart and not notice them until it’s too late and they’ve allowed death to wreak havoc on my heart and those I love. I want to live in the fullness of Christ’s inheritance for me. That fullness means that I don’t have to live blind to my sin. God’s Spirit is so willing and desires to show us how to walk, how to please Him in every way. How to walk in His power and abide in the Branch resting in His sap for the life to walk in holiness.

I’m done trying this sanctification in my own power. No thanks. Jesus You are more than enough for my justification and You are everything I need for sanctification as well.
No more “little” or “big” spiders. God You will rid me of all them as I rest in You and someday, blessed day I will be completely free and never more have to daily battle the old nature. Child of God, that’s ours, let’s walk in it.
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