My husband is an electrician . . . which means he’s seen many places under many conditions. He’s been to private homes, commercial buildings, waste water plants, and business offices. He’s worked on things as simple ceiling fans and as complex as outdoor security cameras controlled by solar panels. Yes, I think he’s the best electrician out there! And, no, I don’t think I’m biased …
As an electrician, he has run across some interesting circumstances. I think my favorite (or not-so-favorite) story of his is the time he went to a local restaurant to fix an electric buffet that was on the blink. The restaurant, of course, was panicky because it was the busiest time of the day, and loads of food was cooling on top of the buffet. Undaunted, Michael dutifully started to move the buffet on wheels. What he discovered underneath would have ruined my appetite within seconds. Are you ready? What he found were … mice. Oh, no, not just any kind of mice. He found dead mice . . . but not just dead mice. These mice were hallowed out because they’d been decaying there so long!
The craziest detail about this tale is that people continued to visit the buffet while Michael worked, undisturbed by the sight of mice skeletons littering the floor. Obviously such filth didn’t hamper their appetite. They had come for food, and food they would get!
Logically, I would have thought that the restaurant would have discovered them long ago due to the stench! It’s hard to believe that something like dead mice could go so undetected by even the cleaning crew. Those mice had been there for probably months, generously adding to the aromas coming from the kitchen. Apparently someone had a glitch in their sense of smell . . . or someone just chose to walk away and ignore it.
This reminds me of a verse in Mark 4:21, 22:
“Also He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lamp stand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.’”
Michael’s electrical skills sure brought something to light that day! What had been safely hidden from view had been revealed in just moments. It was all in plain sight for even the most curious of customers to see. The proof of invaders was undeniable. This restaurant had issues!
This is also what happens in our walk with God. No matter what is going on in our lives or in our minds, God sees it all. Not one thing can be hidden from Him. We can try our best to cover our tracks, put up a façade, or skulk behind a mask, but it will never be enough to hide form God’s all-knowing, all-seeing gaze.
“For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4:12-13
It’s exciting to know God sees everything about us when we have a need. If we’re sick or in trouble, we can have confidence that He sees and cares. If we’re grieving over a loss, it’s comforting to know that He sees our hearts and is moved with compassion. We are not alone in our silent little world. We can trust His ever-seeing eye to see things we never knew existed, and deliver us from hardship that would have otherwise defeated us.
However, many times we have secrets we’d like to keep under wraps. Maybe we did something wrong and don’t want anyone to know about it. Maybe, behind our veil of strength, we hold a weakness that we’d like to keep hidden away lest someone think badly of us. Whatever the “mouse” we may be trying to hide, God already knows all about it.
Unlike the restaurant owners, God doesn’t wait to deal with our “mice” until they’re rotting. His Word, His “Sword,” goes to work the moment a temptation come our way. He will immediately reveal to us where we need to set a mouse trap, and how to dispose of its contents. He cares about our well-being too much to leave us struggling with an uncontrolled mouse in our house. He knows it will only lead to our demise. Left unidentified and unchecked, it will only grow and grow until its stench fills the room. Before long our lives are contaminated, and our secret has turned into more than we can handle.
Our responsibility through all this is to listen closely so we don’t miss an opportunity to deal with our “dead mice.” We must keep our eyes and ears alert to what God is trying to tell us. Not one moment should we ignore that sinful thought, or inclination to harbor a grudge. No compromising habit should be allowed to linger in our “restaurant,” no matter how it may tempt us. If God’s voice is our focus, a counterfeit “mice” won’t stand a chance against the purity of His Word. We will be too caught up in its sharp truth that everything else seems distasteful and gross.
The beauty of God’s nature and Word is that it was never meant to bring condemnation (Romans 8:1). God will never use it to make us feel like a jerk because we let in the mouse in the first place. His Word is present to bring direction, correction, and purpose – all with the intent of making us stronger. When we could have ended up in a rat’s nest, His Word will take us to His throne room. There we’re exempt of sinful contamination, and surrounded with life and health only His Word can bring (Hebrews 4).
I hope that restaurant communicated with its cleaning staff about a more perfected cleaning routine. Even better, I pray they sealed up any holes that would allow the mice to enter in the first place. Regardless, I think the place has lost at least one customer – namely, me. Somehow, sharing the air with dead mice just doesn’t suit my idea of a pleasant eating experience. If I have a race to run, I’d prefer it be to gobble up my food because I like it so much, rather than racing to the bathroom because I couldn’t hold it down!
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-3