Scottish midges are legendary. They are the tiniest of creatures, merely one millimetre in size, but they can inflict such discomfort and unease that they can ruin a perfectly pleasant evening in the garden or keep you a virtual prisoner inside on a beautifully sunny day. Midges don’t come as individuals; they swarm together in dark clouds and they get into the smallest of openings in your clothing and get stuck in your hair, leaving tell-tale bite marks on your skin and generally cause you much discomfort and irritation.
This Scripture reminds me very much of the midge - small things that cause discomfort and irritation and can prevent us from enjoying the fullness of life. Solomon refers to them as little foxes; foxes that eat the tender vines of an abundant life in Jesus.
These little foxes are often the common things of life that we endure every day - the unwisely-timed comment from a friend, the harsh response from a spouse, a personality clash with a work colleague, and ongoing stressful situations. Equally our own wrong behaviour towards others becomes blurry in a sea of excuses and we fail to enter into repentance of the ‘little things’.
When life’s getting tough it’s easy to dwell on the bigger issues of life, and blame these for the hardships we’re enduring. Yet this verse gives us insight into a much more prevalent problem that eats away at each one of us - the little foxes.
We can easily live our lives not dealing with these seemingly insignificant things, focussing much more on the bigger issues that we feel deserve more attention. It’s easy to move on without forgiving our spouse for the harsh response, or the friend for their unwisely-timed comment. And we can also move on from our own wrong responses or sinful behaviour as we consider them too minor to have to deal with before God.
Yet these issues are the ones which swarm together, leaving their tell-tale signs of frustration, fear, hurt, and offence. They all add up to something which keeps us locked away – a virtual prisoner, and unable to maintain the fruitfulness of life.
As we go through our lives with God let’s be aware that there’s nothing which doesn’t concern Him. There’s nothing too small for Him to be bothered with, either sin against us or our own personal sinful behaviour.
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