Loren had been telling me for some time that there was a strange smell emanating from the kitchen. At first, she wasn’t sure where it was coming from, but then she became certain that it was coming from the stove. I meant to get to it, I really did, but there just wasn’t time. Then, I had to leave for a trip into the inner jungle, and when I got back I was pretty sick.
It was then, that the rat reared it’s ugly head…literally. Loren was at the stove cooking that morning when the rat apparently wanted to get a look at my wife’s beautiful face…or maybe the food smelled good, who knows? Anyway, it popped up over the back of the stove to see what was going on, and my wife, like any good, prepared, experienced jungle veteran missionary, promptly screamed as loud as she could. I still being sick, heard the scream from the bedroom, and thought we had been attacked by aliens, which was only mostly true. Have you ever seen a gigantic rat peering at you in close quarters?
Since I was still in bed Loren asked our Peruvian co-worker if he would have a look at the problem. He was convinced that the problem was too tough, that he couldn’t take apart our oven, and that we really needed “a professional.” Loren became that professional when she grabbed a screw-driver and went to work. The fellow reluctantly grabbed some tools and half-heartedly tried his hand at the disassembly job. Loren convinced another more “hands-on” type Peruvian to come over and help us. However, eventually I had to get out of bed, feverish and unhappy to take care of the problem. We learned that there was not a rat in the stove…There was a family of rats in the stove. Perhaps some kind-hearted soul would have voted to preserve the lives of the cute little babies. They were so tiny and harmless, right? That, I did not do.
I learned several lessons through all of this that apply to the sin in our life as well.
1. Sin stinks
2. The stench only grows and gets worse
3. Sometimes the root of sin is unclear at the beginning
4. Ignoring the problem does not make it go away
5. You cannot have someone else clean it up for you
6. Sin will affect other people
7. It takes hard work to get sin out
8. It’s difficult to clean up after sin
9. Sometimes sin doesn’t look so bad when you are face to face
10. Sin brings pain
11. A true clean-up must be thorough
12. dealing with your sin is not a one-time action
I shared this lesson several times at different youth events during furlough. I pray that God would allow it to be a challenge to you as well.