One night I heard something fall in the corner of the room – it was a jar lid, but what made it fall? I thought it was a mouse as it scurried along the top of the wall ledge. “What is available to get rid of this creature that I don’t want to share the house with for the night?” I wondered.
It was safely going along the two walls as there was a ledge at the top of the block and over the window. Then it slipped and fell down onto a chair. “Surely now if I can just find something I can get it.” But being in a strange place I didn’t know of what was available or the protocols for such creatures. Our host was out and so after the mouse went under the couch that I had previously been sitting on I decided to go sit outside.
I wasn’t outside long when I hear it and looked at the screen door – it was climbing along the inside of the screen obviously wanting to get out. I went to the door and flung it open but instead of scurrying out it jumped back and ran under the couch.
When our host came home I asked what she had to deal with a mouse. A mouse? We have a mouse? She didn’t have any glue traps for mice but did have them for rats and that is what she provided. I looked at this large glue trap and thought what a waste as in Colorado the mouse traps are so much smaller and work just fine. The packaging said you could cut it so that is what I did, I cut it down to about the size of the mouse traps we use at home.
Watching the Struggle for Freedom
After supper we came back and behold there was the mouse in the trap. It looked bigger when it was stuck and she said, “Are you sure it’s a mouse and not a rat?” She also thought that we should put out the bigger part of the trap as it was working to get off of the small trap.
I watched it struggle and fight to free itself from the glue. What a battle. It would work for a while and then take a break. I placed the larger glue trap next to it so that as it fought from the one it would be stuck to the other.
In the morning I went to see if it was dead. Sure enough it had worked its way off of the small trap and was completely on the big one. Stuck. And still. Trapped. Never to scurry again.
I learned 7 lessons about sin from this rat:
When we walk along the edge of life it is easy to slip and fall.
Just as the rat was comfortable along the wall ledge it lost its footing and found himself in a different place then he had planned. We also can get comfortable and lose sight of where we are or where we are going and trip up. We need to be sure that our walk with the Lord is in focus so that we don’t get distracted by someone as that rat did. This will require a conscious effort to read and study God’s Word, be aware of our shortcomings, and have a support system around us like an accountability partner.
We need to take advantage of the opportunity for freedom when it is presented.
Had the rat ran out the door instead of back in the house he would be living today and continuing to grow. We often are comfortable in our situation and don’t take advantage of a change when we should. Don’t let the status quo be all you desire. Strive for and seek the open doors that the Lord provides for us to escape, even if they are out into the dark unknown.
Sin is a deadly trap.
Just like that glue trap, once you get into sin it is very difficult to get out. Each move may help us get out but may also get us stuck more. Not all sin leads to immediate death, but ultimately, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). If you are stuck in sin, call out to Jesus Christ for help. He is able to free you from the trap.
Sin can cause us damage.
While it is possible to get free of the trap of sin it will still have caused damage to us. Had I not placed the bigger glue trap there, the rat would have been free in due time, but he wasn’t going to be the same as before. God’s forgiveness erases the sin but not necessarily the consequences. For example, if you look at pornagraphy, while there is forgiveness, you will still have to face your spouse and their hurt and disappointment.
Once trapped we are hindered from what we should be doing.
While I’m not sure just what a rat should be doing (as I don’t like them), I do know that fighting to get out of a glue trap is not their normal routine. As Christians we cannot worship and serve the Lord as we should while trapped in sin. Far too many ministers have been removed from the pulpit or mission field because of moral failures. While there can be restoration there will be a time of lost opportunity to minister.
A little sin may lead to a bigger problem.
A little sin may not be deadly but can slow us down such that the enemy can put a bigger sin in place. While the rat did get free from the small trap, he was caught in the big trap that led to his demise. The time of being in the small trap allowed me the opportunity to strategically place the big trap so that it was inevitable for him to get stuck in it.
The rat’s full focus was on escaping the little trap and it did not notice the bigger trap waiting to snatch it. The enemy often gets us off track with little things – maybe it is negativity or criticism of others. He then leads us down a path of destruction. It may start with a look, then a thought, followed by a conversation, then a touch and on down the road to the affair. We need to break the chain of events at the earliest stage possible.
Even the big trap may not be fatal.
The part of the story that I didn’t tell you is that even in the morning there was still life in the rat. While wounded and certainly not healthy, if someone had freed it from the glue it could have lived.
Jesus paid the ultimate price to free us from the traps of our sin. There may still be consequences to our actions but death is not required from us if we repent, accept the gift of salvation and forgiveness, and walk as the redeemed children of God. Our old self is to die and we become a new creation in Christ (Romans 6:4). This gives us a new life to live in fullness of Christ’s power and His purity. As Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
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