Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:22-23 (NIV)
Its allergy time in Florida again. Even though winter is not yet over, spring is on its way. The oak trees are pollinating. Everywhere I look, I see yellow buds on the trees. The ground is covered in oak leaves being pushed off the limbs by new growth. Soon, our cars will be caked with a fine yellow dust. An allergy website for our area warns that there is a high concentration of tree pollen in the air and those who are allergic to trees should stay indoors. That is always the way it happens. Just about the time, the weather becomes perfect for outdoor activities, no bugs, cool temperatures and low humidity, the trees show how much they like it too by spraying us all with pollen. My allergist advises spending as little time as possible outdoors, running your air conditioner in your car and home year round, changing your air conditioner filters monthly, taking a shower after outdoor activity and before you go to bed and at the height of the season, wearing a mask when outside. I take most of his advice, but the mask is a last resort although I have done it when gardening. The problem is of my own making though I did it innocently enough. We did not know when we planted little oak trees on both sides of our long driveway that I was allergic to oaks. Now, more than a dozen large trees shade our house and drive. While I get allergy shots year round, I have a regime of medicines I also take. An antihistamine that won’t make me sleepy in the morning. A decongestant that does make me tired at night. Nasal spray, asthma medicine, an inhaler. I take some all year long and add in a few others when spring arrives. I just plug away wheezing and sneezing and announcing to everyone around me, “I’m not sick. It’s just allergies!” All that yellow dust in the air and my efforts to curb its effect on me made me think of the toxic people in this world. You know the type. You can hardly be in the same room with them without getting depressed, angry, anxious or insecure. Sometimes, it is a combination of all four. While we can limit our exposure to these people, usually there is little we can do to eliminate them from our lives. But, there are remedies to make them less effective. The God of peace has promised to sanctify us. That is the process of becoming more and more like Him. It is like that mask that denies all those pollen particles entrance to my lungs. He fills our spirit, soul and body with His love and peace that nothing else can penetrate. Sure, their words sting, but over time, the more we keep our eyes on Him, the less anyone else’s opinion matters all that much. Let the God of Peace immunize you from those who would seek to bring you down.