When it comes to bugs, I'm not the most squeamish female in the world. I recognize that they are God's creation, put here for a purpose, and I try to leave them alone and preserve them in their natural habitat. That, of course, means, "outdoors", and especially, "not in my trailer"! Sometimes it even means, "Not on my trail!" The problem is that "my" trail passes through "their" forest, and as such, I try to respect them.

But why can't they respect me?

You see, many of these bugs bite. I'm allergic to some of them, and even worse, some of them carry disease.

It's true that most of the usual biting bugs actually tend to leave me alone. Mosquitoes will only go after me if their favorite meal (read "my husband") is not available, and though the deer flies do like to buzz around my head, they will usually choose my son's delicious flesh over my own. Black flies, on the other hand, are a totally different story. They regard me as an ice cream Sunday with fudge sauce, whip cream and a cherry on top, and to get to my delicious blood, they work their way up my sleeves and pant legs and even under the rim of my hat; and they seem to prefer the flesh of my scalp.

With our trip to Cape Breton taking place in the fall, I wasn't overly worried about black flies, for they are primarily a nuisance of the spring. I would learn, however, that while the Cape Breton black flies do die off in the summertime, they re-emerge, hungrier than ever, in the fall. This meant that every time we would stop for breath on the many beautiful trails, the black flies would swarm me incessantly. It got so bad on our first day of hiking that whenever my husband stopped for a breather, I paced circles around him just to get away from my menace. I probably put in twice the number of kilometers, and while he got back to the car without a single bite, I looked more like a pin cushion. How I wished I had taken the bug repellant with me!

In my "hike" through life, I am also bothered by certain "biting bugs". These are better known as temptations.

Just like I am not particularly bothered by mosquitoes or deer flies, there are many temptations that don't entice me in the least. I do have, however, my own little set of "black fly" temptations that get me every time. They come, seemingly out of nowhere, and there seems to be nothing I can do to deter them. Time and time again I stumble and fall into the exact same traps. Oh, God, I need "sin repellant"!

Fortunately, such a thing DOES exist. God promises His own help in overcoming temptation: "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." (1 Cor. 10:13 NLT).

In other words, when we rely solely on God, He will help us overcome those pesky--and dangerous!--"temptation bugs": "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9 NLT).

Just what does God's "sin repellant" look like?

The first "sin repellant" is humility: "...humble yourselves before God." (James 4:7a NLT). We need to humbly admit to God that we need help, that we can't fight temptation alone.

The second "sin repellant" is prayer. We need to ask God to give us a way out of temptation: "And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one." (Matt. 7:13 NLT)

The next "Sin repellant" is to resist: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7b NLT).

How do we resist?

This is the final layer of "sin repellant". We need to fight the devil with Scripture: "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11 NLT). Let's remember that Jesus Himself resisted temptation by quoting scripture (See Matt. 4, Luke 4). But in order to have that "word in my heart", I need to be diligent in studying God's Word: "Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide." (Psalm 119:97–98 NLT).

The best news is that this "sin repellant" can't be forgotten at home. It is available to all of us at all times, as long as we:

• Humble ourselves and admit we have weaknesses and need God's strength;
• Pray and ask God's help in overcoming;
• Stay ever on the alert for temptation; and
• Diligently study God's Word.

Anyone want some repellant against black flies? I have a good brand; but God's brand of "sin repellant" works even better!

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

(To access the entire "Lessons From Cape Breton" mini-series, please click here.)