Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.
The problem with the disease of cancer is that it starts out so small that is may go undetected until it is too late to treat. Another problem is that it often mimics other conditions. It can seem like a simple back ache or indigestion. Yet, cancer, a disease defined as an unrestrained growth of cells that invade and destroy normal tissues, could be causing the symptoms.
The American Cancer Society publishes a list of "early warning symptoms" that could signal the beginning of the dreaded disease. We are told to be vigilant in watching out for these signs.
While we should be on guard for our physical health, we need to guard our spiritual health even more carefully. In the verse from Song of Solomon, we are exhorted to catch the little foxes that can destroy our vineyards. Sin, like cancer, starts out small, but if unrestrained, can destroy our spiritual life. We need to catch any root of sin we notice cropping up in our lives before it grows too big.
Also, like cancer, sin can mimic lesser conditions. I can ignore sin by blaming it on my personality. How many times have I told myself, "That's just the way I am?" I need to open my spiritual eyes and see sin as sin. And when I find sin in my life I need to pray as David did in Psalm 51: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." I need to overcome sin before it overcomes me.
Dear God, Help me to be vigilant in keeping my vineyard free from little foxes.