HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
July 9, 2007, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Those irritating slivers

Rev. Lyndon Korhonen, Good Shepherd Free Lutheran, Cokato

My latest project in the garage and shop is building cabinets for our log cabin.

I took home some rough ash, that was graciously stored out at Joey Berg’s barn, and planed it and gave it one smooth edge. It is a lot of handling to run 31 boards through the planer and joiner, and my fingers had ample opportunities to pick up a sliver, even through the gloves I was careful to wear.

One particular ash sliver was well aimed at the first joint of my index finger. Now, it may have been that it irritated an extra amount because of its placement right where I am constantly bending my finger. But, let me tell you, it made its presence known.

One evening, I started my own surgical procedure to remove the sliver, but I could not find it.

My nerves told me it was still there, so the next day, in bright sunshine, I did exploratory surgery and dug deeper. When I found the puss, I knew I was close, but I was still unsure I had found the irritant.

That night, that little piece of ash let me know it was still imbedded in its host. I don’t know if it was my surgical digging that caused the throbbing or the sliver itself, but, oh, what pain one tiny sliver of ash can cause.

As we go through the rough times in life and seek to smooth out the situations in our lives and the lives of others, we tend to pick up irritants in our spirits and souls - those snubs by people that we are sure saw us, or those words spoken at a rough time when both are irritated.

Those little irritants can tend to keep us awake at night, also. They have a way of throbbing and letting us know they need to be surgically removed.

Forgiveness is how you remove them. Ask God to forgive you, and go to that person and ask them to forgive you.

The pain you feel from the situation is the Holy Spirit trying to help you take care of something that does not belong in your spirit and soul. 1 John 1:9 is the surgical procedure: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

You will be able to sleep better and work better when you remove those little irritants under your spiritual skin.

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