Nettles is a simple book, really. It will give you an inside purview of your daily troubles that taunt you and how you can deal with them. It will reveal even more of who you really are. It will disclose your ability or inability to cope with the little things that bug you most.
I guess you could call this disease of negative thinking “nettlosiosis.” All mankind copes with nettlosiosis. It’s that kind of thinking that is besetting, cynical, and engenders a killjoy spirit and attitude. This is precisely why there are so many self-help books published today.
Nettle comes from the genus Urtica, family Urticaceae. These herbs have pestering little needles on them. They can cause a lot of irritation. The serrated-edged leaves from these wild plants have fine, tiny hairs or spines that sting you when you touch them.
Each day has a personality all of its own. Nettlesome events or people cause those jaded moments for us. Maybe marital issues, business problems, school tests, physical pain, social concerns, or trials within your family or home—nettles are there.
Nettles will steer you on an interesting journey. You will see where most of your heartaches are birthed. It’s always in the little things. Little things become big things. Little difficulties become big difficulties. Little fears become big fears. Nettlosiosis then sets in.
Nettles is actually a manuscript about comfort and reassurance, too. It is not just a writing to remind you of all the bad things that happen to you and those awful, needling experiences that make your life difficult. Remember, everybody has problems. It is how we react and respond to those horrible adversities that make us who we are and give us sunshine in the darkest of valleys.
I remember nettles in my life when I was a young man working at my father’s company. Some guys who worked in the company gave me an unrealistic job to do. They brought me to a work site and gave me a long-handled pickaxe and asked me to break up a very thick slab of concrete. I would still be attempting to break up that slab of concrete if a foreman had not come by an hour or so later and took me off the job. I met two nettles that day—the guys who fooled me with the impossible job and the hard, unrelenting slab of concrete I tried to break up with a pickaxe.
Nettles can be just like that—a very thick slab of concrete. An uphill, impossible battle! Or people who have no other thing to do than to disrespect you and make life even more difficult for you. I like to think of such people as those who always want to win the battle at any cost in the end but lose another friend.
Where I grew up near the Gulf Coast of Southeast Texas, like other residents, I dealt with the most annoying little creature on this planet—the mosquito. Mosquitoes give you a little scare because they attack in such vicious numbers late into the evening. No scars. They create just enough pestering to drive you insane.
The longer you live, the more acquainted you will become with the mosquitoes (nettles) of this world. They are those souls on earth who taunt you for no other reason than to get something out of their own system. They leave no scars. But these kinds of human beings often scare you and me.
The Lord taught us when He walked this earth: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34, KJV).
But remember, the most important of assets you have is not here, it’s on the other side (heaven). What you and I have here will burn up—waste away. Your stuff is corrosive. The ethereal, the eternal, and spiritual will last through eternity. What’s in your treasure trunk on the other side? That is what matters most.
Nettles keep coming, don’t they? Inside your treasure trunk, nettles seem to make their way. Whether it is a little lie you told or simply putting your foot in your mouth, the nettles spoil your joy. They corrode the trunk.
Nettles, those empty, aggravating, and evil little thoughts that seep into your treasure trunk keep you upset all the time. They simply will not go away. So how do you deal with them?
First, be totally honest with yourself—admission will bring satisfaction, resignation. Honesty is and always will be the very best policy. Admit when you lie or when you make a false statement. Give your mental and spiritual treasure trunk a complete and shiny cleaning. Tell the truth at all costs!
Second, nettles thrive in those who are alive; nettles can’t provoke the deceased. But whether it is your identity being stolen, a car that won’t start, aching pain that will not subside, miscommunications with a spouse, a church or business conflict you suffer through, it doesn’t matter. The nettles are a part of the fabric of life itself; they continuously nick you. The real key is on your knees—take your burden to the Lord. Release it to Him. The sooner the better! Race to your Redeemer!