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Satan's Allergy
Photo: Linda DuBose
I love autumn! It’s my favorite time of the year. The air is just crisp enough to keep my energy level up, and yet not cool enough for a jacket yet. And the colors are also beautiful!

A few days ago, my husband Mark and I spent the whole day outdoors. I washed windows, winterized my rose bed, and trimmed a few branches on the lilac and redbud trees. Then Mark and I cleaned up some areas in the yard, including taking down a couple of dead trees and hauling off the wood. What fun it was! Everything looked neat and tucked in for winter, and we both went to bed feeling so good about our productive day. It is said that there is no rest sweeter than the rest of a working man/woman. That’s the way I felt when I went to bed. 

Unfortunately, when I awoke the next morning, my eyes were swollen almost shut and my cheeks, chin, and neck were splotching and itching. POISON IVY!! How had that happened? I’m so allergic to poison ivy that I’m always very careful about staying out of it. The trees we took down were right in the middle of our yard, so I thought I was safe. I wasn’t sure how I got it, but I knew I had to do something about it. 

I was scheduled to substitute teach that morning, so I put ice packs on my eyes which brought them to an almost human appearance. The redness on my chin and cheeks took the shape of a beard, which suggested that perhaps I had razor burn or possibly even an allergic reaction to aftershave! I also had a couple of nice splotches on my neck resembling hickies (however you spell that) which wouldn’t have even crossed my mind if I hadn’t been heading to a public high school for work. How embarrassing! I couldn’t cover any of it with makeup because that would irritate the itching. I needed the money, so I headed off. 

Permission to Scream at Me

I spent the day telling each class at the beginning what had happened. I also gave them permission to scream at me if they caught me scratching. I decided I would tough it out if it didn’t get any worse, but by the end of the day, I was calling the clinic begging for a shot. I have given birth without an aspirin to two 9 lb. plus babies. I have endured  three kidney stones with hooks going the wrong way, but poison ivy was more than I could handle.

After having the shot, I found myself having yet another itch attack in the wee hours of the next morning. I got up to treat my skin with some ointment and settled in the living room to watch some religious programming. A woman was speaking about Satan and how weak he becomes in the presence of Jesus. She was pointing out that while we ourselves are no match for Satan, we can stand firm against him if we have Jesus with us. Why? Because SATAN IS ALLERGIC TO JESUS. That’s what she said. Satan is allergic to Jesus. I pondered that for a while. After all, I couldn’t have been in a more receptive mood for an illustration using allergies! 

So, while I sat there fighting off the urge to scratch my skin to the blood, I thought how encouraging it is to think that Satan suffers allergic reactions when he sees Jesus coming. I can relate to that. When I’m walking in tall grass or in the woods, I scan my path constantly for poison ivy. And when I spot those three leafed plants, I retreat! How satisfying to think that’s what Satan does when he sees Jesus showing up.

"So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:9).

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By Gwen Simmons. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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