We live in a place that has a very unwelcome guest: a wood mite. Those little critters burrow into almost all untreated wood, slowly chewing away everything in site. They are merciless. And they are hard to eliminate.
Today, our house helper came to me holding a dust pan filled with the residue those pesky things leave behind. But this time there was more than the very fine wood dust. This time I could see the fully developed adult mites roaming around the dust pan, searching for their next meal. They are usually unnoticed. They seldom grow to such a size that we can see them. Not these; some were almost as large as BBs (remember those, guys?).
So we grabbed the chemical treatment, the only one we know will eliminate them, and began to apply it to the basket where they had taken up residence. This powerful liquid overwhelms the senses, making one sneeze, making one's eyes water, making one's sinuses hurt. It's not good on the skin, either. But it kills quickly, so we endured the unpleasant effects and attacked their latest home.
Then I thought of those sin habits that creep into our lives. Like the mite, they can be small--almost unnoticeable. They find their way into your soul. They begin to chew away, leaving a small trail of evidence behind: a short temper; a greater tolerance for other, larger sins; an ability to not think about God all day long and not even miss him. The list could go on...
Those spiritual mites must be eliminated from the life. They must be destroyed. Jesus said we would be clean through the word he speaks to us. We must apply the water of the word. That is what will kill those spiritual mites. That, and an intentional determination to keep our defenses against them in place.
So thanks to the Lord for the wood mites he used to teach me another good lesson.