“We came here to get an education, not to deal with extermination.” – the roommate
The past few days were a struggle. Emily’s and my evenings have been spent chasing mice around the room and moving furniture, not doing schoolwork. We’ve been battling mice for the last month. They’ve pooped in our closets, eaten our food, and disturbed our studying. (Confession: I spent a good ten minutes yelling about how the mouse ate my hot chocolate mix.) Last night we decided we’d had enough. It was time to take some serious action. So after ranting for a good bit, we prayed that God would take away our mouse problem. And then we researched mousetraps.
This afternoon Emily and I realized we’ve been going about our lives all wrong. We’ve been praying for God to provide opportunities to have spiritual conversations and be an example. We’ve been asking Him for the big things. There’s nothing wrong with that—God is absolutely powerful enough to answer our big prayers. But as we’ve been praying for God to use us, we’ve been ranting about our horrible situation. We’ve been feeling discontent with our college experience and we’ve been demanding more.
And then the truth slapped us in the face.
We are attending a Public Ivy school. Our parents are paying lots of money for us to gain a higher education. We are living in a nice dorm in a quaint area of Williamsburg. We have hardwood floors and two big windows. We even have a suite bath. Furthermore, we have boxes of tea and bags of British biscuits. We are extremely blessed. And instead, all we can think about is how we hate these mice.
We’ve been asking God to use us, and here He is, giving us an opportunity to set an example of thankfulness in the midst of adversity. Boy, is it hard to be faithful in the little things. We’re praying for revival on the campus, but first we need a heart check.
1 Corinthians 12:7-10
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Emily and I have been praying that we would show grace and that we would be strong in the midst of evil; however, we’ve failed to realize that our mice issue is the perfect area to exercise grace and patience. When you pray for God to make you stronger in a certain area, you can be sure that He’ll give you opportunities for practice.
Our mice problem is nowhere near as difficult as the challenges that Paul faced, but it is keeping us humble. And so, after talking about our lack of faithfulness, we prayed that God would show us how to use the mice for His glory.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
We’ve found that the easiest way to relate to fellow students is through grumbling and complaining, yet God has called us to a life of peacefulness and thankfulness. We are called to live a set apart life. We haven’t been doing this life thing well, but there’s no time like the present to change.
After a long day of school and a thorough cleaning spree, two dear friends from Chi Alpha brought us mousetraps and bait (yay!) and went to get milkshakes with us (louder yay!). So thankful that when life brings you mice, you can choose to rejoice with milkshakes. With hearts that exude peace and proclaim thanksgiving, we are starting anew.
– – Phebe