Does Anyone Know a Cure for Chigger Bites?

For our first wedding anniversary, Beverley and I decided to go see my friend Russ in Kerrville, Texas which is an hour west of San Antonio. (Have I ever mentioned my good friend Russ?) We visited with him in the evening but spent our days in San Antonio. We went to the zoo, enjoyed window shopping around the River Walk, toured the Alamo, etc. After having dinner at a fine restaurant Beverley and I return to Kerrville. We went outside on the hill where Russ and his wife lived and watched fireworks since it was July 3rd.

The next morning I woke myself up scratching my feet. They were covered in little bites. Everyone who looked at them concurred that I had chiggers. What was I going to do? It was a seven hour drive back home. Someone suggested that I pour rubbing alcohol on my feet in the bathtub. Later I tried soaking them in the tub with four ounces of Clorox bleach. The next remedy was to paint each spot with clear nail polish. I finally just slathered my feet with calamine lotion and started the long drive home. A few miles down the road I had scratched my shoes off. It wasn’t long before I was driving barefoot. Then I had to resign myself to the fact that there was nothing left to do but pull over and let Beverley drive. For the next five hours I sat in the passenger seat in sheer torment with weeping and scratching of feet. Just when I thought it could not possibly get any worse, I discovered that the bites were showing higher and higher on my legs.

The next few days I tried every remedy known to man since Adam first suffered from chigger bites after being kicked out of the Garden of Eden. My chigger bites were soaked in vinegar, soaked in Epsom salts, soaked in a bucket of ice, etc. Some suggested using Pine Sol, Listerine, hydro-cortizone cream, spraying the spots with Raid, rubbing on Adolph’s meat tenderizer, and even applying Preparation-H (by the way this article is not given to product placement). Nothing really worked except rubbing on some Benadryl cream. After a few days the bites went away.

Later, while relating this nightmare to an old timer, he informed me that there was nothing that could be done for chigger bites. The only thing you can do is avoid getting them by spraying your feet, shoes, and pants with bug repellent before hiking where chiggers are known to abide. Once I heard on a radio program that the most effective means of avoiding chiggers is to wear cat flea collars around both ankles. However, avoiding them is very difficult since they exist everywhere in the world except in the extreme arctic and extreme desert conditions.

Suffering with chiggers is much like dealing with the consequences of sins and sin is everywhere and sooner or later is committed by everyone. While you are out enjoying yourself and having a good time, you carelessly say, do, and even think something that you will later regret. Sin has consequences. Although the consequences will vary in severity from person to person and from event to event, all sin will bring pain. One morning you wake up suffering from the consequences of your sin. Everyone has their diagnoses as to the source of your problem. Their solutions to your misery is equally varied. There are a myriad of thoughts on how to avoid the consequences of sin.

According to the Word of God, sin is the source of evil and suffering in this world. Man on the other hand likes to attribute the consequences of sin to many other causes. They say that drunkenness is caused by the disease of alcoholism and some are just genetically predisposed to this illness. Calvinists claim that man is born with the guilt of sin inherited from Adam. However, only some of the consequences of this original sin, and not its guilt, has been passed on to mankind (Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 5:12ff). Others attribute suffering to economic conditions. Drug abuse and crime are believed to be the result of poverty instead of immoral choices. Therefore, the solution is to just throw more and more money at the problems. Some psychiatrists even attack religion itself as the source of suffering because it gives man a guilt trip about his personal decisions. According to this view, if you reject religious moral standards and live your own life you will not have to suffer the pains of a guilty conscience.

The Bible explains that sin results from engaging in unrighteousness “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17). Or we sin by failing to do what we know is righteous (Js. 4:17). God is not the source of sin. “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Sin and its consequences result from man giving into his desires. “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But, each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:13-15).

The ultimate consequence of sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23a). What is the remedy for sin? “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23b). Many other remedies have been suggested. Some promote reincarnation as the answer to sin and suffering. Related to this view is the idea of Karma. If you do enough good deeds you may balance out the bad. Islam teaches that Paradise is found by doing more good deeds than bad. No man can atone for his own sin (Mic. 6:7). It is only Christ’s blood which can cleanse us from all sin (1 Jn. 1:7). Even the sin of persecuting Christ. Paul had this sin washed away in baptism (Ac. 22:16). So can any man if he believes Christ to be the Son of God, repents of his sins, confesses his belief in the Son of God before others, and is baptized (Mark 16:16). The remedy for those children of God who return to sin is even easier. They must pray to God for forgiveness (Ac. 8:22-24) with repentance and confession of their sins (1 Jn. 1:8-10).

We can clearly know and understand the problem of sin and its remedy. The cure for chiggers is one thing that still alludes me. Until then, I hope to avoid getting attacked by these invisible, little monsters. No, I never did try wearing cat flea collars around my ankles. Quite frankly, I was always afraid that the neighborhood dogs would chase me through the woods and up a tree. My wife would have to call the fire department to get me down.

– Daniel R. Vess

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