The invasion was swift and decisive. We had no idea what hit us. By the time we figured out what was happening, we were surrounded.
Cooler weather has descended upon us. We had frost on the grass when I woke up this morning, and the aspens are changing into their shimmering golden wraps. I have always said that autumn is my favorite time of the year, it still is, but after what has happened at our house this year, I think the approaching colder weather will forevermore conjure memories that strike fear in my heart.
It’s dark when I make my way into the kitchen to fix myself a cup of tea. The shortening days have given me great opportunity to witness the glorious rise of the sun each morning. I love this part of the day because our house is very still. I enjoy watching as the dawn slowly invades every nook and cranny, turning the darkness slowly to amber, then golden, until the rooms are flooded with the light of a new day.
Yesterday I was watching this transformation as I sipped my tea and prepared to open my Bible for some quiet time with the Lord, when I noticed a quick movement along the wall. I wasn’t sure what I’d seen, because I’d only caught a glimpse, but I had my suspicions.
A little later, after my kids were busy getting ready for school, my daughter saw the same thing. There was no doubt this time. We had a mouse.
Now, I’m not especially wimpy about critters. Spiders and other bugs don’t scare me. I don’t shudder at the sight of bats, and I really even don’t mind mice – as long as I’m watching them from the other side of the cage bars. There’s just something about these little guys, their speed, agility, and sneakiness, but mostly it’s the fact that they’re loose that gives me the willies!
“But hey! So we have a mouse,” I thought, “I’ll just pick up a trap today and by this time tomorrow we’ll be rodent-free. No big deal.”
As the morning wore on, however, my eyes were newly opened to days-old evidence that had gone unnoticed. Droppings in the cupboard under the sink, little chew marks on the potato sack in the pantry, even (to her horror) wood shavings and the makings of a nest in my daughters shoe!
But the final straw came as I opened a drawer in the kitchen to retrieve a fresh dishtowel. “EEW!” I gasped and jumped back. The drawer was full of loose dog food, neatly piled in and around my clean towels. A small army of mice had apparently been busy through the night transferring the food from my dog’s dish into this drawer, no doubt, one nugget at a time – and right under our noses! These miniature soldiers had invaded in full force, and by the looks of their stash, they had no intentions of leaving.
Once my shock and feelings of dread had subsided, I got busy setting traps and making my home generally uninviting to our new guests. Though these invaders had been successful in their swift and stealthy occupation, I was determined that they would not win this war. I have weapons at my disposal against which they cannot prevail! I have De-con and I’m not afraid to use it!
As often happens when I am doing “busy work”, my mind wanders off. I guess this is a survival mechanism I have developed to help me cope with the drudgery of housework (which I detest – I would rather go to the dentist than do housework…well, almost…). But I’ve found that God often uses my wandering mind to bring new truth to light. He did just that as I was working to rid our home of these pests.
I was thinking about the incredible instincts that motivated these mice to move from their summer home to a warmer climate (in my house), and about the speed with which they infiltrated. Their bold resourcefulness as they collected and stored food with near silent precision amazed me. These creatures knew exactly what they were doing. They were quick to find vulnerable areas and that’s where they focused their attack. They were a formidable foe to be sure.
God used these observations to remind me how the Enemy employs similar tactics in an attempt to trap Christians and draw them away. When Satan introduces sin and temptation into our lives, he does so where we are most vulnerable. He does it little by little, nugget by nugget, often right under our noses. It’s not until we are surrounded by evidence of our sins that we even realize we’ve been invaded. He’s a sneaky one all right.
But thanks be to God, just like the mice had no chance once discovered and confronted, neither does Satan. The Lord Jesus, through his death and resurrection, has secured for me eternal life. He’s already won the battle – victory is mine. This Enemy holds no power over me. In Jesus, I have a weapon against which evil cannot prevail – and I’m not afraid to use it.
Great title, Lynne, and good follow-through to a wonderfully funny and enjoyable story. We have had our fair share of mice guest over the years, so I related very well to your horror and determination to make their stay a short one. A good analogy and reminder of God's provision for us to battle Satan's interference in our lives. Keep up the good work, ladybug Karen