“Oh, no, not again!” was my first thought.
It is first important for you to understand that we live in a home surrounded by fields. It is beautiful and I wouldn’t want it any other way, but along with the fields come the mice. The bothersome rodents always seem to find a way into the camper during the winter but this was mid-summer–August, in fact. What were they doing invading my space now? After checking all of their favorite places for evidence, I–once again– pulled everything out to wash and disinfect.
I expressed my frustration to my husband, who decided to set a few traps and put out some poison. I then doused cotton pads with peppermint oil and put them everywhere (supposedly mice hate the smell of peppermint oil).
A few days later, Eric went down to the camper to check his trap. And there it was! The tiny, gray creature that had caused me so much frustration. My husband disposed of it and we figured that was the end of the mice…at least for the summer.
Boy, were we wrong!
A few days later, as Eric pulled out one of the bagged chairs for a picnic, out fell three baby mice. The mouse had built a nest right in one of our chairs. Had we not found them we would have multiplied our mice trouble times three!
The things is, we can’t figure out how or where these annoying pests are entering our camper. They can get through the smallest space, so it is imperative that we seal even the most minuscule place of entry.
When we got this camper last year, my husband assured me that my mice troubles would be over as he was sure this model was sealed up tight, unlike our old one. How frustrating to realize that there is still some small way of entry.
I think we get ourselves into trouble with sin sometimes when we have that philosophy. Our pride leads us to believe that we are locked up tight against sin and we let our guards down.
When we see the tell-tale signs of a short temper or apathy or prayerlessness (to name a few), instead of finding the problem, we just “wash” the outside and keep going on.
But, just like the mice multiply, when we don’t find the sin and eradicate it, it just keeps growing and clean-up becomes messier and harder with each season.
We have to figure out what’s going on. What is causing the symptoms that are showing up in our lives?
Greed? A lack of discernment? Anger? Pride? Disobedience? A rebellious heart? Fear? Doubt? Messed up priorities?
You see, until we can figure out the true reason of what’s going on in our lives and confess it and start working on it with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will continue to put out the numerous fires that are started because of it. We will continue to use our human efforts to wipe up the messes we leave behind but never solve the problem that caused the messes in the first place.
And just like we “accidentally” found those baby mice, if we pray with a heart that truly longs to know, then God will show us sin in areas we never even dreamed there was any.
Some of us leave many openings for sin to invade our souls. We have ungodly friends, we pour wretched, sin-filled entertainment into our minds, and we go to places and participate in activities that are full of worldly temptation.
Others of us work really hard to keep ourselves locked up as tight as possible from the sin that can destroy. And we do so by keeping ourselves in God’s Word. We pray. We discern. But we can never rest. Sin is like that mouse–there is almost always a way in. We can never let our guards down.
On our camping trip this past weekend, our camper was mouse-free. We are thankful, but we will not rest. We will continue to give our efforts to keeping our living space free of rodents and other creatures.
We need to give as much (or more) effort to keeping our lives sin-free.