This week has been a week of battle – battle against the ants, that is. They decided to invade my counter tops for some reason; we have had a lot of rain, so perhaps coming in was the easy way for them to search for food in a dry place.
There were so many of these little creatures, like an army that kept coming no matter how many had fallen before them. They would dart out from hiding places like the kitchen appliances or a bottle or a dish. So, I started lifting things to assess the damage and invested in some kitchen-safe ant spray. Two mornings in a row a crowd of them were discovered hiding under the coffee maker! The spray took them out fast. But still more reinforcements poured in each day.
I even did some damage to them outside, pulling weeds around the foundation of the house and spraying the ants that were pouring out of their disturbed nests. But still onward they marched.
Then I got out the Terro, three pools of it behind the toaster oven and the coffee maker. I even caught a couple of jumping spiders (I know, not my favorite creature either – but desperate measures for desperate folks) and released them behind the microwave. After a couple of days, there were no more visitors to the Terro pools, but still we have ants, and more than just one or two scouts, but much more manageable than before. No more crowds under the coffee maker; no more lines of ant traffic going to and fro.
So, it occurred to me that ants in the kitchen could be likened to sins in our lives. I’m not necessarily talking about the “big sins” like murder, adultery, or stealing, but the ones many refer to as “little sins”. You know the ones I mean — impatience, worry, ungratefulness, discontent, pride, arguing, complaining, finding fault, boasting, rudeness, unkind words, thoughtlessness, and the multitude of other sins that crop up in our hearts. They lurk in and under the clutter that we allow in our hearts, behind the things that we allow to distract us from God and from heavenly things. Then they dash out across the white counter top screaming, “Don’t see me, don’t see me, don’t see me! Ahh! I’ve been seen!” These are those sins that are seen by others even when we ourselves don’t recognize them for what they are. Then we wonder why our relationships are strained or in disarray.
Of course, God sees these ant-sins while they are still in hiding. And God’s Word is like a light that reveals them; it also could be likened to the Terro that is taken into the nest and gets rid of all the little ant-sins that it finds there.
So, how do we get rid of those pesky scouts that keep darting out? The first and most obvious step would be to get rid of the hiding places, the clutter and distractions that take our focus off of God. Then, we must get daily into God’s Word, talking to Him about everything He reveals to us in our hearts and actively confessing and repenting from any sins He reveals by shining His light there.
As we walk through our day focused on Him and actively remembering what He is teaching us, that light of God’s Word in our souls will continue to reveal those little intruders before they have a chance to escape. We must squash them immediately, determined not to let them go call for reinforcements that could bring in another invasion.
It’s a daily battle but a worthy one. Let’s determine in our hearts to do what it takes to walk daily in the strength and purity of God’s Word.