Saturday, March 3, 2018

A mouse in the house

The run of the house - who has it where you live? When I had young children at home, I'd have admitted they did! When I had pets, there were days when those cats would have told you square and fair that this was their domain and they just let me live here! If you have ever had even one mouse in your house, you'd almost think there were a million of those little creatures prowling around, taking what they wanted and then eluding capture by some clever means! The run of the house can be 'given' or 'taken' - the mouse would fit that latter category! That which is given is much easier for us to accept and 'live with' than that which is taken, though. When the 'house' is our heart, to be given is much easier than to be stolen. The latter brings fear and anxiety, much like never knowing where that mouse would show up again or when. God doesn't want us to live with this type of fear or anxiety - so he focuses on who exactly has the run of our house - who specifically it is that controls things within our lives.
God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. (1 John 4:18 MSG)
Love should have the run of our house - it should be at the very core of our being. Love and Christ are used interchangeably here. One cannot truly know love without Christ at the center of one's life. I have taken vacations away from home, 'transplanting' my life for a week or so into a vacation timeshare, complete with linens, cooking items, and all the furnishings. It is pretty close to being at home - because I have almost all the conveniences of home. I have to admit that it still isn't home, though. I might have managed to bring some spices, food items, and the like, but I find I have to work within the confines of what I brought - what is available to me. If I were home, I could scour the pantry, look through the shelves of frozen foods in the freezer, etc. until I found what interested me. The confines were removed. The conveniences of just having access to whatever I needed is freeing, isn't it?
When God's love takes up residence in us - is given the 'run of the house' - there is a removal of the confines that restrict us so much when his love is not central within us. My pets didn't worry about being loved - they knew their 'run of the house' included forgiveness when they spilled water cups over, stole away with a sock or two deep under the bed, or left tracks of litter for me to step on in the middle of the night. They also knew it assured them of continual feeding and comfort. They lacked for nothing. In much the same manner, Christ's love assures us we will lack for nothing. We are granted forgiveness, even when we do irritating stuff. We find provision even when we have done not a whole heck of a lot to earn it. Like the cats, we sometimes draw near when we feel like it and remain elusive when we don't. We enjoy far more than we might deserve by our being so 'distant' at times, don't we?
The mouse who takes over the run of the house has something to fear - the trap! It isn't welcome in the house. It brings a sense of anxiety and concern. It demands constant attentiveness and this is exhausting. It places one in the continual mode of 'cleaning up' and this is somewhat frustrating and concerning to one who just desires to be rid of the pesky creature. Wherever 'perfect love' isn't given 'free run' of the life, 'pesky' stuff will continue to bring all manner of anxiety, frustration, and a desire to just be rid of it! Just sayin!