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I woke up late several Sunday evenings ago to the sound of Liam crying, and as I groggily traipsed from my bedroom to his, I was met by the scene of my husband meticulously searching every nook and cranny of the living room with a flashlight.

He promptly informed me that he believed we had a mouse in the house, which, of course, was not the type of news I wanted to hear at that hour (or at any hour, for that matter).

After getting Liam settled back to sleep for the night, I headed to the living room again so that JJ and I could form a plan to rid ourselves of our potential mouse dilemma.

The next morning, I had to go to San Antonio for a doctor’s appointment, and since I had just gotten back from a weekend trip to Fort Worth, where I had helped to throw my little sister a bridal shower, I felt completely exhausted. Nonetheless, I mustered up enough energy to head to the store and buy some mouse traps, and as JJ and I continued to try to catch the critter, conviction started to set in. How was it that I could act with such immediacy and intentionality over the possibility of a mouse in my house and yet tackle my own sinful attitudes and tendencies with less fervor and urgency?

As I pondered the question, I recognized that we have an enemy and our own flesh that battle against us, wanting us to give in to sin. Nonetheless, I was also forced to admit that I most likely generally fail to see how fatal the consequences of sin can be. Just like mice can bring sickness and disease into a home, sin is much the same, poisoning relationships, our sense of joy, and our own mental well-being, among other things.

Several months ago, as God was making me more aware of certain sinful tendencies in my life, I couldn’t help but think of something the Lord told Cain in Genesis:

But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Genesis 4:7 HCSB

In all reality, we all have sin crouching at our door, waiting to destroy us if we would let it in. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to do so when we first entertain temptation. She knocks at our door, and we might think it’s no big deal to invite her in for a spell and listen to her ideas. After all, we can ask her to leave whenever we please. But she is more powerful than she seems and only grows stronger the longer we allow her to stay. Before we know it, we are opening our front door to sin at her suggestion. We are welcoming in the very things that seek to destroy our lives.

Throughout this whole ordeal of trying to catch mice and restore a sense of peace in our own home, I’ve considered how much it would help me to have a strategy when dealing with would-be intruders in my own spiritual life. Just like we have had to set up mouse traps in some strategic areas of our apartment, I’ve come to realize that I should set up “traps” in my own mind in order to take every thought captive. Prayer is certainly a part of this—asking God to help me to think upon whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable (Philippians 4:8). And memorizing and meditating on strategic Scriptures to help me confront the “creatures” trying to enter my mind would definitely help me too.

Another thing I’ve considered as of late is how important it as believers to rid ourselves of anything that causes us to steer toward sin. The next couple of days after JJ’s possible sighting of a mouse, I began to place chip bags in plastic storage containers and stored all our fruit—even the bananas—in the fridge instead of on the counter. We didn’t want even a trace of anything attractive to mice lying around, and we shouldn’t want to have a trace of anything tempting us to think or act in sinful ways lying around either.

So far, JJ and I have caught three mice, and I made the manager aware of the problem a week ago so that she could take whatever measures were necessary for the situation at hand, which resulted in her prompt call to pest control to schedule service to our apartment. They already came several days ago, in fact. And isn’t there a spiritual lesson for us to learn in all of that as well? Sometimes we have to recognize that the struggles we face are just too big for us to deal with alone. Obviously, we must always rely on the Holy Spirit to help us live the victorious, Christian life. But having a trusted friend that can keep us accountable when we struggle can do a great deal of good too. After all, the Bible instructs us to

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

James 5:16

As nasty as this mouse issue has been, I’ve been thankful for the spiritual lessons this whole ordeal has afforded me. Ultimately, God cares so much more than we ever could about what we allow to enter our lives and minds. I’m glad that He is able to use even situations like this to draw our hearts back to Him.

As of now, we haven’t seen any more mice, and it has been over a week. We will continue to be vigilant, however, and I pray we will be more vigilant when it comes to our spiritual struggles too.

5 thoughts on “Intruders”

  1. Colleen, what a wonderful lesson you share here. I can so relate to being prompt to ensure that no intruders are in my home but am I that prompt when it comes to sin and spiritual matters. Makes me reflect and ponder. Thank you my friend for sharing lessons that God reminds you of. I hope it was the last of the mice you saw in your home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Manu! We haven’t seen anymore, and I hope it stays that way! Do you remember how I wrote you about a recent post of yours being so pertinent to what I had been learning as of late? These were the thoughts running through my mind as I read yours. I hope you are well, friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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