With permission I am quoting from this email because I think we have a lot to learn from this illustration:
I don't mind the noise or the traffic or the squatty potty.
But one thing I had asked the Father for (all the while knowing I wasn't going to get it) was that there would be no rats in my new place. Now, slums are pretty much defined by rats. If there are not rats, by definition you can not be in the slum. So even while I asked I knew that the asking was more for my ability to adjust to it.
Where I lived before we had some rats outside the house and managed, by and large, to keep them outside the house. No such luck here. [This] home is made of what seems to be wood scraps which cause a pretty cool eclectic look to the walls but unfortunatley means the walls/ floor/ roof do not fit exactly together so there are lots of holes around. Good for air flow. Bad for rats. Actualy, good for rats, bad for me.
My saving grace thus far has been that I sleep under a mosqiuto net and in my imagination, the mosqito net works against rats too. Please ask that my illusion not be shattered here. The family already finds my reaction amusing whan I jump at sudden movements (or the mice/rats). They, of course, are used to it. It is all they have known so it has no effect on them.
Because of this I got to thinking about what we put up with when we live in the middle of it. And how sin is like the rats. How in the beginning you are appauled at it, but as you live in that world more and more you make compromises and berfore you know it, you live in this house of mice and rats and no one even notices anymore.
So I am asking myself, where have I let the rats run free in my heart? Do you have any?
I don't want to live that way. I want to see my sin the way the Father sees it. The way I currently see the real life rats. They bother me and I can not rest with them there. I want not to rest spirtitually until my heart is free (or at least moving in that direction) from the soul rats.
In the meantime, would you remember me and the real life rats. I think the Father's way is rarely to take away the problem but to give us what we need to get through it. In this case that would be courage, peace, a sense of humor...and a magic mosquito net.
Wow! What a lesson - applicable to all of us. My reading this morning in Seek God for the City covered the same topic:
We have found routines to manage our little sins and make ourselves feel better....Our sin is far greater than we have allowed ourselves to admit. We cannot settle out of court....Only Your Spirit can give us the genuine humility, not to berate ourselves, but to decentralize ourselves. We confess: It is not really all about us and our feelings of guilt. It's really all about You and the grief of Your heart and the glory You deserve.
Decentralize myself - what a concept! So much easier to "manage our little sins" than to allow God to reveal all the rats and do a full job of terminating at the root!
So thank you, dear one, for alerting me to the rats in my life. And may God help us all to decentralize ourselves and let even our conviction be about Him!