Our daughter has eczema. She has dealt with it most of her life and we’ve learned lots of ways to help ease her itching.
~Early on we found out it was triggered by milk products so we have eliminated dairy from her diet. We’ve found lots of ways for her to be a normal kid with no dairy.
~We have used lots of lotions. We’ve picked things up to try and people have handed us samples of things that work for them. We love trying new things to see if they will help.
~Bathing has also been a factor in this process. We try to keep all fragrances off her skin and soaps can cause drying so we use baking soda in he bath water to cleanse and promote healthy skin.
In the past week, a patch of red, irritated, inflamed skin got drastically worse. After spending a day on the slip-n-slide at grandparents’ house with cousins and then playing in the public pool with our church the next, her skin reached new levels of irritation. We tried all of our normal go-to fixes. We even gave her antihistamines to help with the itching that was keeping her up at night.
I started reading on the internet to see if there were things I hadn’t already tried. I even considered that it might not be eczema. I used creams and ointment for all kinds of rashes. I would think something was helping and by the afternoon or the next morning it looked worse.
When it started spreading from her arms to her face and trunk, I got more concerned. If this was something viral or bacterial, I needed to know so I could take precautions with every one else in the house. I also realized that treating the surface of the skin was only treating symptoms. I had to look past symptoms and get to the root of it. It was time to go to the doctor.
After answering questions and telling everything we had tried, we heard the course of treatment; we continue the oatmeal and epsom salt baths, try samples for a new eczema ointment, and get steroid shot with a prescription for oral steroids for 5 days.
All of the different treatments I was using on her skin were put away and we dialed in on the right treatment, including treating her from the inside instead of just treating the symptoms. We also have an appointment to see a dermatologist. My husband and I hope that he can help us get to the root and truly treat her issue rather than just her symptoms.
I was telling with a friend about it and our conversation shifted. We started talking about how often in our lives we have issues and want to treat symptoms and see results. It might be a physical issue, like struggling with our weight, so we try buying clothes that flatter the fluff, we avoid scales knowing the number is going up, we might even buy pills that guarantee fast results, but the root of the problem is a spiritual one. We aren’t recognizing our body as a gift from God to be used for His glory so we aren’t fueling it right and we aren’t giving it the opportunities to exercise that it needs to be at its optimal state.
Maybe it’s a financial issue and rather than getting getting a short-term loan, we need to address the spiritual issue of contentment and see what God says about debt and living within your means.
Maybe as we are raising our children we see things in them that need correcting, like having a smart mouth, laziness, or disrespecting authority but we never evaluate what we are modeling for them in how they hear us talk, see us stare at our phones when they are trying to talk to us, or speak about those in authority over us.
As my friend, Tabitha, put it so well, “We treat the surface, pretend we are okay on the surface [and] we have surface Christianity. We only go so deep. We tend to fear what we might find or being called out for something we are doing wrong so we avoid [going beyond the surface symptoms].”
Did you catch that? We put on a facade, treat the symptoms, convince everyone else that everything is ok while trying to convince ourselves of the same. We avoid the possibility that there could be something deeper that needs to be addressed and we keep going through the motions.
Isaiah recorded it this way:
“Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,”
Isaiah 29:13 NASB
How often are we like the people of Judah? Our words, our appearance, they look like things are hunky-dory, yet on the inside we are far from being in right relationship with God.
Jesus spoke these severe words:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
Matthew 23:27 NASB
We would never put a bandaid on a known clogged artery, yet that is what we do spiritually.
God wants to do more than put on a bandaid and pretend that everything is fine. He wants to give us a heart transplant.
“I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.”
Jeremiah 24:7 NASB
I want to encourage you, put yourself on the table of the Great Physician. Allow Him to diagnose your symptoms and prescribe treatment, especially if it means a heart transplant. Find and treat the root cause rather than just the symptoms of your struggle.