I recently had the unpleasant responsibility of catching a mouse that had taken up residence in our kitchen somewhere behind the cabinets. He was kind of a cute little guy (I’d seen him several times late at night run across the floor), but I knew he had to go because mice carry diseases and, even worse, bring more mice. So I decided I had to take care of it and went and got the mouse trap.
Well, I’ll spare you the details but I finally caught the mouse using peanut butter after a failed attempt with cheese (mouse stole the cheese right out of the trap and escaped!). But literally the very next morning I woke up to a steady procession of ants all across my kitchen counter. I thought, “What is going on here? I must have a sign outside my house that reads ‘Free crumbs, inquire within.'” Now I have another pest problem to deal with. Sometimes it seems that as soon as we solve one problem, another one moves in to take its place.
Isn’t this true in most areas of life? Pay one bill and another one arrives to take its place; fix one car and the other one breaks down; fix one relationship and another one starts to fall apart. But why are we so surprised when things go wrong? Shouldn’t it be obvious by now that there’s no perfect world and we have to deal with problems every day? I think the way we respond to life’s little “pests” will determine either our success or our failure in life. The important thing is to keep moving forward, keep addressing the problems as they come, taking it one step at a time. How do you respond to little pests? Can you navigate them and solve the problem, or do they cause a meltdown and stop you in your tracks?
Maybe it’s an American thing, but we fully expect to live in a pest-free world. I was somewhat surprised to find that I had a mouse problem. “A mouse problem? I don’t even live in an old shack…” But be careful here; the expectation of a problem-free life can ruin you.
Jesus was very clear that we would have trouble in this world. John 16:33 tells us that we will have trouble, but not to be discouraged because Christ has overcome the world. Jesus ecouraged us to take things one day at a time and not to worry beyond what we face today. Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
So don’t get discouraged my the little pests and imperfections that seem to constantly be invading your life. As long as we live this life we will face hardship and difficulty and pain. Unfortunately it’s just the way it is in this sinful world. But take heart, He has overcome the world. Now to the ant problem…