I awoke early this morning with the intention to meet God in prayer before daylight hit. I had been plagued with the dark cloak of fear and worry for weeks. So much so that my body, even in moments of momentary pleasure, would contract into panicked tightness in my shoulder, for momentary enjoyment was interrupted with dread reminding me that my laughter wouldn’t last. Moments of joy and peace were frequent, but lasted only as long as my mind chose to forget my perilous situation then, again, my heart would retreat back into it’s deep dark well of despair and impending doom.
So when I made plans to wake up that one fall morning before the sun rose, I fully intended to make a cup of tea and seek the Lord for guidance, rejuvenation, and some sort of absolution to my fear, dread, and weakness of faith. Instead, in the small lamp light, I was met with a dark movement on the floor in front of me near a few paintings I had leaned against a glass door. To my utter disgust and fear, a tiny beady-eyed mouse was staring up at me. It seemed it had the intention of coming out to play, since it was still before morning and dark, and was just as startled at my presence as I was of it. Immediately, it ran behind one of the paintings.
I was in utter shock! As I went for a broom and a flashlight, I thought of all the things that the wretched mouse represented; filth, uncleanliness, the bubonic plague. It all crossed my mind as I creeped slowly towards the painting, with broom in one hand and flightlight in the other. Being one who never volunteered to kill rodent bugs or insect intruders in my apartment, I immediate was aware at my inexperience at such a task. I decided to overcome my nerve and took a quick movement towards the paintings with the broom stick and knocked them over. But to both my relief and disappointment, Beady-Eyes could be found.
Breathing out my annoyance and come-down from adrenaline, I put down my weapon of choice as I remembered the purpose of my early waking. I slowly walked back to my armchair with rising suspicion and lowering alertness.
Finally, I sat down and breathed a wordless prayer as I grabbed my now lukewarm cup of tea and took a sip. As I did so, my heart sank as I saw a dark figure zoom past the closet floor in the corner of my eye and head towards the kitchen. I could not believe it! How did that messenger from Satan escape from behind the paintings and appear in the living room?!
I stood up with a start, grabbing my lethal broom, saying out loud in an exasperated voice,
“Did I really wake up at 6 in the morning just to hunt down a mouse in the house?”
Just then, a thought came to me. It was as if a little child was being taught a grade school lesson. I sat down to take to take heed of where my thoughts were leading me.
I thought to myself, “You know, that mouse only comes out in the dark, but I can only capture it if I have some light to see it. When I sit in the dark, the mouse is ever present, but I cannot see to catch it unless I turn on a lamp. But then it flees from the light. Quite the dilemma, isn’t it? How then can I capture a creature of the dark, if I myself need light in order to accomplish it?”
I paused for a moment to think about it…
“Ah!,” I thought to myself, “mouse traps! Exactly! If I purchase mousetraps and place them behind the paintings and in every susceptible corner that the mouse can possible hide in or pass through, then I need not carry my broom in vain. In fact, the mouse will be caught in the dark while I am fast asleep. I need only to prepare the house, be patient, and wait. Once I wake up I will find the mouse stuck in the glue trap, struggling to escape. I would have it right where I want it, in the light with nowhere to go, on my terms.”
Suddenly it dawned on me; Is not that mouse in the darkness, fear and worry in the trial? Is not the glue trap, prayer? Is not the light, the power of God?