DayBreaks for 5/12/16 – Toothless Fish and the Things that Plague Our Souls
From the DayBreaks archive, May 2006:
HAKONE, Japan (Bizarre News, 4/19/2006) – “It’s a common sight to see Japanese people eating fish. But I bet you wouldn’t expect to see fish eating Japanese people. However, thanks to a beauty treatment imported from Turkey, this won’t be an unusual sight for much longer. Bathers at a new spa called “Dr. Fish” have the chance to dip their feet into a warm pool teeming with fish that nibble away at dead skin and bacteria. The toothless Kangal fish are used in Turkey as a cure for skin conditions like psoriasis, but in Japan the focus is on getting feet squeaky clean. Bathers say the experience is not painful, but rather ticklish. “They’re eating the bad stuff and it makes me feel better,” Shingo Kamiya, a 45-year-old customer at the spa said.”
I must confess, I’ve never dreamt of having fish nibble away at the dead skin on my toes (or anywhere else, for that matter!) I can imagine, however, that it might be a rather interesting sensation to put your feet into a pan full of water and have little fish nibble away at the stuff between my toes! (Poor fish!)
But that’s not really the point of the story. As I read this little news clip, I was struck with how far we as people go to get rid of the symptoms of the problems in our lives and never really deal with the root cause. The little fish in the story can eat all the dead skin and bacteria off our feet that they want, but until we get rid of what’s killing the skin and allowing the bacteria to multiply, they’re not going to solve their “foot problem.”
We struggle with sin – all of us. But what we often fail to do is deal with the root cause of our sinfulness. We may resolve not to get drunk again, not to do drugs, to stop lustful thought patterns – but we never get around to dealing with the real cause of our sin. Alcoholism, additions of any sort, all have deeper underlying causes. They may be that we’re not trusting God to meet our needs, it may be that we’re struggling with envy or unforgiveness that is eating us alive, feeding our destructive sinful behaviors. And at the same time, we like how the sin feels – it tickles our ears and feet and heart – and if we’re honest about it, we may not really want to get rid of the sin.
It isn’t easy to live a holy life – I can’t say that I’ve been terribly successful at it. But I have, by faith, been clothed with the robe of righteousness that comes from God. And I have found that I really can’t get sin out of my life until I come to the point that I really want to be set free from it – and then God gives the strength to be set free.
Isaiah 61:10 (NLT) – I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we confess our sinfulness to you – and not just our sinfulness, but our love for sin. And yet, Lord, we hate it, too, for the shame, guilt and despair it brings forth in us. Help us to truly want to be holy, to be done with the sins that foul our lives. Don’t let us settle for just dealing with the symptoms, but show us the root causes of our willful disobedience and change us in the inner person so that we can become like Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.