It was close to midnight, as it usually is when I get the most productive things done in my home, and out of the corner of my eye I saw something move near the front door. I sat in utter fear, expecting it to be a ginormous spider (they seem to like our house). I stared for what seemed like hours, although only a few minutes, and nothing moved again. I shrugged it off and thought to myself “that was strange,” and went back to my studying. On my way out the door the next morning I see on the ground little pellets of poop. Yes, poop. The incident from the night before came flooding in my brain, and it dawns on me what that thing was. A mouse! We have a mouse in our house!
For weeks, yes, you read that right, weeks, we tried every single thing in our power to catch this pesky little rodent. We set traps every place we thought he was hiding, saw he had been or thought he might go…and he dodged them all. It was the longest and most frustrating couple of weeks in our house as we were determined to get rid of this creature that wanted to make itself at home, in our home. One morning after I realized this mouse had gotten into our bananas again for what seemed like the hundredth time, I cried out to the Lord in frustration. “Lord, how come we can’t catch this tiny little rodent, who is slowly ruining our lives? I’m tired of dealing with this same issue every day.” Dramatic, I know. And in the funniest and clearest voice He spoke back and said, “This is like a picture of your sin, isn’t it? That one I’ve been gently reminding you of.” Guilty.
It was true. Trust me, I didn’t like the idea of my sins being compared to a gross, dirty mouse. But, the sins I commit in the quiet, the ones no one knows about, are the ones that slowly start to overtake and ruin my life. It doesn’t matter how many times I try to sweep it under the rug, or shrug it off, or pretend like it doesn’t exist; at some point, I am forced to come face to face with it. Sin, like the mouse, is messy. It’s gross. And when left untreated, starts surfacing and affecting all areas of my life. The mouse thought he was smarter than us, that he could outwit us, and dodge our traps forever. Isn’t that such a perfect picture of our own selfish, sinful nature? We think we are smarter than God. That our ways are better; that we know more than Him. That what He wants and desires for us is not really the best. His gentle nudging at that thing in my life, just didn’t seem like a big deal. I could work on it later.
We searched high and low for this mouse. We were determined. It was almost all I could think about at times. What if I treated my sin this way? What if I awoke each day asking, begging, and praying to the Lord like the Psalmist did?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
We all know those areas where we are weak. You know exactly the sins you hold on to and those you commit in the dark. In the quiet of your own heart you bury them deep within. You know the things that keep you up at night and consume your thoughts. And as much as my heart desires the things of the Lord, my flesh always seems to be stronger. It’s like what Paul said in Romans 7:19,
“I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (NLT)
The day we caught the mouse was a day of such sweet victory. My husband and I were practically jumping up and down in excitement; thrilled that our persistence and willingness to not give up trying to catch this mouse had finally paid off. You know what’s an even sweeter victory though? Letting go those things that keep us from the feet of Jesus and clinging to the victory found in Him. Oh how I desire to walk in His ways, to pursue the good He has for me, to learn the things He wants me to know. To follow Him all the days of my life. I’m thankful for the fresh start a new day brings, and that I don’t have to keep my struggles, selfish desires, and sins to myself. I can lay it at His feet, and He will take them, time and time again, and give me a clean and victorious new beginning, with forgiveness in abundance.
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
By: Sarah Curry