As I’ve been sharing our little farm’s recent battle against a family of marauding raccoons, I am well aware of what some of you are thinking.
They’re so cute!
They’re God’s creatures, too!
They’re just doing what they’ve been created to do!
I get it. I really do. I like sweet, fluffy animals as much as the next person (Actually, I like them more than a lot of people I know.), but we don’t have room on our farm for chicken-eating, egg-sucking predators! A family of raccoons can wipe out a flock of 20 chickens in just a few weeks without any problem. A gaze of coons can also decimate a quarter acre of sweet corn in about three nights. Don’t ask me how I know that.
Raccoons are vermin. Regardless of how cute their little masked faces are, the fact is that they are destructive. They are cunning and sneaky and completely out of place on a working farm. We have 20 acres of property, and they are welcome to 17 of those acres. We will not share the rest. We have animals to protect and food to raise for our family. Our priorities are clear.
Just because raccoons look sweet and innocent, it does not mean that they are. As my wise friend, Jenny, reminded me, “Sin is the same way. It looks fun and maybe cute. Perhaps it appears harmless, but it is very deceiving”. I once heard a preacher say that sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost far more than you can ever repay. Oh, how I know this to be true!
Just like allowing one raccoon to help himself to our laying hens has resulted in a number of raccoons terrorizing our flock, one seemingly small sin can grow into a habit that wreaks havoc in us and in our loved ones for the rest of our lives.
The easiest way to kick a harmful habit is to never start it in the first place.
The good news is that, even when we’ve been weak in an area, God provides us with a way out. I Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
I love that promise! I can just picture Jesus standing out in the pouring rain with a bright red umbrella. He beckons us to take cover under its protection with Him, but we’ve got to be smart enough to move our feet and cozy up under the umbrella with Him.
We are not alone. God does not ask us to recognize and overcome the vermin of this world in our own strength. When we read His Word, spend time with godly people and lean into His Spirit, He opens our eyes to what is good for us…and what is not.
One of the prayers I’ve prayed for my kids since they were teeny-tiny is that sin will always look like sin to them. We live in an incredibly confusing world. Principles that have long been held as truths are now open to individual interpretation. Feelings, more so than facts, are allowed to determine our actions. If someone considers something “cute” or “fun”, then surely it can’t, in reality, be harmful, right?
I’m not sure who we’re trying to kid, but we certainly are confusing our children.
On our little farm, raccoons are a menace. Warm and fuzzy solutions are not solutions at all; they only make the negative consequences more dire and far-reaching.
In our lives, sin is destructive. Warm and fuzzy justifications or kind-hearted avoidance tactics are not solutions at all; they only make the consequences more dire and far-reaching.
Dear friends, stop being deceived by what looks to be warm and fuzzy. Move under the promised protection of Jesus and His Truth. Look for the red umbrella.