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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : religion : religion November 27, 2020

10/10/2020 1:11:00 AM
Born To Burn

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC

I realize that 2020 has not been a banner year for most of us. I try to keep a positive attitude even in the middle of diverse circumstances, but current events have pushed me into a state of, dare I say, a negative thought?

I have heard the old saying, “The straw that broke the camel’s back,” and I always figured it meant the last thing that made a person quit, or change.  Generally, after someone says this statement, they do the unexpected and perhaps the underappreciated, but they are determined to respond to the broken straw. I have learned that it can be something small or even unseen that can break the preverbal straw on the preverbal camel’s back. The “straw” is different for all of us, and the breaking of it is not automatically a bad thing. Yes sir, something good can come about from getting your back broken by one straw!

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Something has been trying to break my back through the spring and summer months. It is nothing political, financial, or even spiritual. It has to do with myrmecology, the study of ants. To be specific, the fire ant. I try to abide with leaving things alone that are in their natural habitat, unless that habitat comes into a direct violation of my habitat. Since early this spring, I have had fire ants in my lawn. I bought some powder that guaranteed results with the fire ants, and I politely sprinkled it on the mounds of dirt that they had pushed up in my yard. The more powder I sprinkled, the more mounds I saw in my yard. I didn’t know if I was poisoning them or feeding them. I can’t complain about the “guaranteed results” that were written on bag. I did get results, the fire ants increased and it was a noticeable within 72 hours.

I was hoping the fire ants would get tired of living in my yard and just move on, but they liked living with me just fine. I was about to give up hope until something happened that, “broke the camel’s back.” I was walking through my yard and was stung, not bitten, by a fire ant.  In case you don’t know, a fire ant is a small varmint, and it doesn’t look scary like a spider, or sound angry like a wasp. It is barely noticeable until it notices you! I finally purchased a liquid that is diluted in water, and my fire ant problem became a bitter, but distant memory.

How can something so small deliver so much pain? The more I ignored the small insect, the worse it became. One mound quickly turned into 15 mounds.  Even though they looked harmless, the fire ant family brought me and my wife a great deal of agony. This experience brought my attention to the danger of sin. Yes, sin may seem small and harmless, but it will always bring about pain and agony. Sin will never be your friend, no matter how nice you are to it. The only way we can defeat the enemy is to trust in our Victor, Jesus Christ. Ephesians 6:11, 16 tells us, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil,” “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” The result of sin is always the same, to bring pain, separation, and death. Like an ant’s fiery sting, sin will always burn you. I am grateful that God has provided a way to deal with sin in our lives, the ones we think are big, and the little ones we believe are too small to make any difference. Trust me, they all make a difference.

Don’t give in to sin. Think about it!

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