A few months back I began to notice a strong pungent odor in my garage. I blamed the cat though I sensed something more devious was at work. Finally, several weeks later, I walked out into my garage one night and came face to face with the source. A large opossum, sitting on the top of a shelf.
I was somewhat unnerved to say the least. It just sat there staring at me, showing no fear whatsoever. I thought maybe if I raised the garage door, providing it with a means of escape, that he would seize the moment to quickly extradite himself from my presence.
I thought wrong. He watched as the garage door opened just a few inches from his head. He looked at it till it came to a stop and then looked back down at me and yawned. Yes, he did! He had a look that said “seriously.... that’s the best ya got?” He then put his head down and went to sleep. I freaked out! Seriously he was going to sleep?! It was obvious in his mind he was home. I realized at that moment that the odor I had been smelling for weeks was not the cat. This creature had set up residency in my garage and had been there for months. Which also explained the enormously large amount of cat food that I thought my cat had begun eating over the past couple of months.
This creature...which Sister Ruth said looked like a Fred...yes, she really did...much to my dismay had silently been living in my garage for months. He had been watching me, listening to me and eating my food all within a few feet of me without me ever knowing it. I have so much clutter and boxes from my move that it was easy for him to hide.
Though Ruth suggested he was cute and I ought to let him stay, I was not so inclined. I got a long stick and tried poking it. He looked up at me then he turned around and with his back to me curled up and went to sleep again! Frustrated I mumbled “Fine!” to myself, shut the garage door and went back in the house.
The next day I went to Ace hardware and purchased a live trap. That morning before going to work I put cat food in it and hoped that he would be in it when I got home. Stupid cat. Yes, you guessed it she sat huddled up in the trap waiting for me to get home. While the opossum sat perched high on its shelf throne looking down at the humorous predicament of my cat.
It took a few tries but finally “Fred” gave in to the temptation of the cat food and found himself trapped. I took him several miles away to release him. I opened the cage and ran. He just sat there! I took a stick and poked him. He hissed at me, but refused to move! Now I am no opossum expert that this just seemed to me to be a bit ridiculous. I was afraid to touch the cage as he looked...well slightly perturbed at me. So, I took a long pole I had wisely thought to bring and I hooked it in the back of the cage and after shaking the cage, then lifting it upside down he finally lost his grip and dropped to the ground running away.
The stench from the cage was overwhelming and the stench in my garage remained for weeks as a reminder of the visitor that had once invaded my garage.
That is the way sin is. If we are not diligent to keep the clutter of the world out of our lives sin can easily creep in before we know it. Often, we will recognize the stench that it emits but we choose to ignore it or contribute it to something else. Sometimes we even feel it’s too powerful to overcome and just decide to live with it.
But the longer sin is allowed to dwell within us the more comfortable and settled in it becomes. That spirit will quietly learn your weaknesses, tolerances, and fears. He will play with your mind and it will become harder and harder to overcome.
And once you do overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit, the remnants of that sin may still be felt for a while. Satan is a master at guilting us. But remember, with time, prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit you can be victorious!