For the last two weeks I have been engaged in a war of wills with a family of squirrels. Those cute little creatures always scampering about my yard had now become my opponents. Unbeknownst to me these creatures had taken up residence in my house.
My wife had suggested some time ago that there could be critters in the attic. I assured her that was not the case as I could see no evidence of that. But over time I too became convinced that something was scratching in the walls of our house.
I engaged a wildlife trapping company who came out for a week in an attempt to capture and relocate these uninvited guests. That endeavor failed and I was back where I started – squirrels in my house.
After doing another visual inspection of my house I discovered a hole in my roof that the squirrels were using for their entry. I don’t know how I missed that hole all this time but now that I had discovered it I knew that my problem would be soon solved.
I got the hole repaired and even included some tin under the new tiles. Later that evening after the repair I watched as the trio of confused squirrels tried vainly to reenter the house. I must admit I took great satisfaction in knowing that I had removed these pests and that I could now focus on other things besides being consumed with removing the squirrels.
Sometime during the next day I looked up towards the repaired hole expecting to see the sad squirrels gazing longingly at their former abode. Instead, to my dismay, I saw a new hole beneath the one that had been repaired. They had found another point of weakness and had reentered the house. This was now war.
Gathering up some fresh supplies I waited for my opportunity. I had to wait until they went outside for their normal time of foraging. This made for a long day as I could hear them chewing away as they expanded their new entrance. It almost seemed as if they were taunting me. Who chews for hours?!
My patience paid off and I observed them outside frolicking in the leaves. I pounced and quickly climbed my ladder and blocked off their new entrance. All the while I was doing this I noticed the squirrels watching me. Their little eyes seemed sad but I was unsympathetic – they had to go.
As I climbed down from the ladder I begin to think how this week’s lesson on Enduring Temptation played out in real life through my encounter with the squirrels. It was a fitting example of the process of temptation.
My house, which I assumed was secure, was really not. There were points of weakness that the squirrels exploited. That alone reminded me of the text “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12. We can never feel we are beyond the power of temptation.
I also pondered the truth that a victory gained does not mean the battle is won. As the squirrels watched me block up their point of entry I knew that they would not cease in their attempts to reenter the house. Vigilance on my part was needed.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Today I’m having a tree removed that made it easy for the squirrels to gain access to my roof. This can’t stop them completely but it will certainly make their task harder. I saw the correlation in our fight against sin. We must remove, as far as possible, those avenues of entry that Satan exploits. That may be easier to say than to do, but it must be done.
“All who name the name of Christ need to watch and pray and guard the avenues of the soul, for Satan is at work to corrupt and destroy if the least advantage is given him.” Ellen White, Adventist Home, pg 403
I could go on and on but just a short while ago I discovered a new point of entry these persistent critters had found to gain entry to my home. Time to renew the battle.
Here are a few Hit the Mark questions for this week’s lesson discussion:
- What does the word “temptation” mean to you?
- What does it mean to gain the victory over temptation?
- It is said that being tempted is not sin. Does that mean if I have impure thoughts I am not sinning as long as I don’t act them out? Why yes or no?
- What does it mean to control the tongue?
- How serious of a sin is gossiping?
- Is the following statement True, Mostly True, Somewhat True or Not True: I will become less tempted the stronger my relationship with Christ grows. Explain your answer.
We close this week with the wisdom of the Psalmist. Thank God for His Word:
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalms 119:9-12
Until next week, let’s all continue to Hit the Mark in Sabbath School!
For online lessons please visit http://www.ssnet.org/lessons/14d/less03.html