Daily Devotional for Monday November 17, 2003
Living with a rat
(2 Timothy 2:26)
Living with a rat. Because I do a live TV program every Monday thru Friday from 1-2 a.m., my main sleeping hours each day are from app. 5:30-10:30 p.m. My "morning" is at 10:30 p.m. each night. As I was in a deep sleep the other night, I heard my wife scream downstairs. I jumped up and ran down the steps to see what was wrong. She told me that she heard a noise in the food pantry by the kitchen and when she opened the door, a rat came running out into the living room.
Now I need to stop right here and say something. Ever since I was a very young boy I have played sports. I have had my fair share of sports injuries, played often in pain, and it never bothered me. But there are three things in this world that I really do not like. One is the dentist. I force myself to go twice each year, but don't look forward to it. Also, that movie starring Corbin Bernsen called, "The Dentist" didn't help matters. Second is needles. I always tell me wife the worst part of our 20 years of marriage was the blood test to get the license. I simply have NEVER like needles. Third is snakes, insects, and rodents. I don't consider myself any less a man to declare publicly I not only do not like them, I am afraid of them.
I share that with you so you understand there really could be nothing worse in my mind than a rat loose in my home. Of course, the first thing I did was get the phone book and start calling pest control companies. I quickly found out that they don't make house calls at 10 p.m, at night, so it would be the next morning before they could come out. Sadly, my expectations of what these pest control companies could do were unrealistic. I assumed they would come to my home, bring their "rat finding" equipment, locate him, and get him out. You can see how naive I am.
When they came out I was very disappointed to find out there was no "rat finding" equipment. They did locate a small hole in my utility room where he had chewed his way in from the outside. I was told this is common when the weather turns cooler, as they try to find a warm place to live for the winter. I was then told the only thing we could do was to lay traps in key locations throughout the house to try and catch him.
Even though this was the only answer, I was not happy since this meant he would still be living in my house, until he made the mistake of stepping into one of these traps. That of course presented another problem since if we did catch him, there was NO WAY I was going near that trap. I was quickly reassured that for a fee, they would be happy to come out and dispose of the rat.
I am sure by now, you have got to be thinking, "poor Bill has written too many Devotionals, answered one too many emails, and has finally fallen off the deep end." Oh ye of little faith! You had to know I was going to bring this rat story full circle and apply it to your daily life. The fact is, EVERYONE at some point in their life has a "rat" they have to deal with. For some, their "rat" may be alcohol. For others, it may be drugs. Still others it may be smoking, or gambling, or overeating, or shopping, or illicit sex. EVERYONE, at some point in their life has a "rat" that chews his way into their life.
The key is how do you respond? Do you immediately take measures to get rid of the rat? Do you become friends with the rat? Do you try to get rid of the rat, but after a while, learn how to live with the rat? There are some people that don't have any problems at all with having a rat in their life. They literally become friends with the rat. Some will try to get rid of the rat, but after a while, learn how to live with him. This is where most people are at in regard to the "rat" in their life. You know he is in the house, but you make a deal with him to stay out of your way, and you will leave him alone.
I call it being a "functioning addict." You go to school, go to work, go to church. You live a pretty normal life on the outside. But you are in bondage and have simply learned how to "live with the rat." You are a FUNCTIONING ADDICT! Let me give you a word of encouragement today. You need to get serious about getting rid of the "rat" that is in your life. If you don't, it will eventually ruin your life.
I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today. Many people reading this are "functioning addicts." You have some "rat" that is in your life and this is a word from God to GET RID OF IT NOW BEFORE IT DESTROYS YOU! Chances are you will need professional help. There is nothing wrong with that. There are people that can help you get victory over whatever your bondage is. Use every possible tool you can to "catch the rat" and get it out of your life once and for all.
God loves you very much. He has a plan and purpose for your life. Whatever bondage you have in your life is keeping you from fulfilling your God-given purpose of serving and bringing glory to Him through your life. You are missing the true joy, true peace, true abundance this life can offer. I am praying that you get serious, TODAY, about getting rid of the "rat" that is in your life. While there are many great pest control companies that can help you get rid of a rat that may get into your house, God has men and women that serve Him to help you get rid of the "rat" that is in your life.
IT IS TIME TO QUIT LIVING WITH A RAT, GET RID OF HIM!!!
p.s. After 24 hours, the rat is still in the house. Pray with me that he will be caught, TODAY!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller