Ok. Ok. Ok. There are four things you should know right off the bat:
1. I am deathly afraid of rodents – especially rats.
2. I have a weird fear of dead animals.
3. God has a sense of humor.
4. God’s ways are not our ways.
About a month ago, I left some new, unopened bags of dog food out in the garage (bad Nikol!). I noticed some little holes along the bottom and knew immediately that a rodent of some kind was nibbling on it.
The food went into a Rubbermaid container, and an awesome neighbor set some rat traps for me (which he would come check so I didn’t have to see and dispose of a dead rat – Praise Him!).
Little did I know this rat was smart, sneaky, and really, really wanted some dog food.
After a couple of days the traps were all tripped. There was no rat in the traps, and the edges of the handles of the rubbermaid container were chewed up. GROSS!
Let the horror begin…
Early one Sunday, I was sipping on my coffee in a chair that sits next to the door leading out to the garage. Suddenly, I hear – just on the other side of the door – a rapid tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
Terror gripped me. I held my breath. Maybe I was just hallucinating.
A few seconds later….
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
I thought my heart was going to explode.
The only thing I thought to do was flick the light on, kick the door, and pray that was not what I thought it was.
I sighed, made a mental note to have the traps reset, and after about 20 minutes my heart rate returned to normal.
About an hour later…
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.
WHAT?! You have got to be kidding me! Have mercy, Lord!
I kicked the door again, grabbed my phone, and called my neighbor to come reset the traps. Who cares if it is 7 AM on a Sunday!
Neighbor #2 to the rescue. Look at what the little monster did to an “air-tight” dog food container.
This was war, people! And sometimes wartime requires some creativity: Since the rat wanted to get into the dog food so badly, we gave him what he wanted.
We took some dog food and sprinkled it on the bottom of the rubbermaid container.
The lid was strategically placed like a ramp.
The dog food would be irresistible to the rat. He would climb in, but he wouldn’t be able to get out.
It was a long shot. But would you believe that it worked?
Would you also believe a co-worker had to come look inside the container to see if it worked because I was too chicken? He took care of the varmint, but he made me look inside beforehand.
The rat wasn’t the gigantic hissing monsters with snarly teeth and beady red eyes I pictured in my head. He looked kind of cute, sad, and helpless sitting in the bottom of that container with his last supper. And I felt kind of silly for being afraid of him.
Progress made to conquer fear #1. Whew!
Grateful for that drama to be over, life returned to normal until two weeks later.
I walked into the garage to get my running shoes out of the car and heard the most atrocious sound. It sounded like a bird flopping around on the ground and something dragging on the concrete. I turned around to see a gigantic rat RUNNING AROUND the garage with a mouse trap stuck on its head!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! This cannot be my reality.
Neighbor #2 to the rescue…AGAIN. He took care of him, but y’all…I don’t know that I will ever be the same.
And that might be a good thing because apparently we are conquering fears.
Now, I’m not so scared of seeing live rats. In fact, I pray for the dead ones. I walk outside without fear and check the traps all by myself HOPING there will be something dead in it.
Isn’t it interesting how God works to conquer our fears? Often, we pray for God to protect us or deliver us from the things we fear. But sometimes, He wants us to conquer that fear by making us face it because that is how He sets us free. Most things that we are afraid of are just like that rat: they seem like gigantic monsters in our head, but in reality they are nothing but sad, helpless, little creatures at the bottom of a rubbermaid container.
God has a great sense of humor.
God’s ways are not our ways.