My wife, Shawn, looks for the best in everyone and tolerates most creatures…except for mice. A mouse sighting or even discovery of mouse dropping changes her demeanor from the pleasantness of Kissy-Pooh to the deadly resolve of the Terminator. Her mandate becomes, “Seek out said mouse and revoke his breathing privileges with extreme prejudice.”
Our recent invading mouse was a Ninja warrior, smart and agile. I set numerous spring-style traps over the course of several days, and he effortlessly scooped the peanut butter without paying the price. He taunted me by chewing into the unopened packages of peanut butter crackers high on the shelf while he rained crumbs onto the floor.
I created elaborate obstacles so the path to the prize crossed the trap. He beat me every time. Not only was my hunting prowess at stake, but my place in the home was in jeopardy. At least I think I heard Shawn say, “Out of the house, you or the mouse.”
I needed a new game plan and visited Home Depot to see what diabolical weapons of mouse destruction waited on the well-stocked shelves. I was not disappointed. So much innovation! Mouse hunters can purchase a trap that snares the varmint in a rotating dome. The mouse enters, the trap springs, and the little bugger is hidden from view while a tiny flag rises to alert the stalker, “You got him!” The mouse can be recycled without viewing his beady eyes. Those domes are pricy, though, and I don’t mind discarding the body and gloating over PMD (poor mouse decision).
I tried glue traps, pads that stop little feet in their tracks. Mr. Ninja Mouse would have to chew his foot off or die. Glue traps work well. I opened the package, got my fingers stuck and spent the next hour in the shop one-handed looking for a combination of chemicals that would liberate me. The package suggested baby oil as a remedy, but it has been years since we needed to lubricate a squeaky baby.
The Tomcat Company offers a trap called the Press ‘N Set®. Operation seemed fool-proof, and I liked the look so I purchased a pair.
These traps resemble tiny toilets with the peanut butter in the bowl and their raised lids locked and loaded to snap a furry neck.
The trap fooled the Ninja first night. Checkmate! On the second night I nailed his buddy. And I changed the trap’s name to Crapper Trapper because the mouse’s last words have to be, “Oh, crap!”
Peace has returned to our home.
My battle with the mouse bandits reminded me of a spiritual lesson. Satan sets traps for me, and his goal is to destroy my usefulness to God’s agenda. If I take the bait Satan’s booby trap will spring. His victory becomes complete.
Satan is a formidable opponent with an arsenal of enticements and deadly snares that appear harmless on the surface. He studies his prey to learn appetites and weaknesses. What tempts one might have no effect on another. With cunning skill he adjusts his strategy, changes traps, and shuffles bait. His unwavering resolve yields victory after victory as he captures his prey.
We don’t have to become his victims. God provides his followers with personal protective equipment (PPE) if we’re willing to wear it and use it. Read about the equipment in Ephesians 6:10-18. What does the PPE do for us?
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
Ephesians 6:11 NLT
David understood he would not win the battle alone. Traps, masked by the enticements of the bait, are often hard to detect. There’s that moment when the mouse realizes the danger, but it’s too late to alter the path. The trap has sprung, and he’s caught. David sought God’s help to escape the nets placed by his enemies.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in You alone.
Psalm 31:4 NLT
The bait may look and smell terrific, but the trap has a single purpose. Don’t get caught. Run the other way.