Hollianne and I love to entertain. We enjoy having people over for dinners, cookouts or even hosting groups of our kids’ friends and teammates for a swim or an outdoor movie.
We’ve recently met our match, however.
In the wooded 40 acre wooded expanse behind our home lives a raccoon. A large, hungry raccoon. This creature waits until the dark of night before climbing our iron fence and rummaging through our backyard. He turns over small tables and crawls over our furniture looking for a dropped morsel of food or a misplaced snack.
He’s strong too, as he routinely moves barriers we’ve created to secure our trash. Daybreak often brings a task of picking up the remnants of his midnight snack- which he leaves littered across the yard.
The raccoon even terrorizes our dog, Sky. Sky refuses to go in the backyard after the sun sets.
I can relate to this phenomenon in my personal life. There are uninvited traits and character flaws that expose my weakneses every day. Jealousy. Anger. Pride. These and other undesirable traits hide beneath the surface- waiting for the opportune moment to come out and hurt relationships with friends, co-workers and loved ones.
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:17
I know these traits exist, yet it’s a struggle to confront them.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10
Fortunately, we have help.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I need to confront these traits and ask for help. I am weak, but He is strong.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Please pray for me to have the courage to face those pieces of my nature that separate me from Jesus. Help me break down barriers that keep me from having good, meaningful relationships with others.
And let me know how I may pray for you.
Oh…and by the way…raccoons struggle to figure out the science behind a set of good bungee straps. Thank goodness.