When my son, Micah, was a little over one year old, we lived in West Texas. In that corner of the country, we encounter a strange foe that Utahans do not face very often…roaches. There is nothing more appetizing than a nice juicy over-sized cockroach scurrying across your floor. Unfortunately, I grew up among them, and I was grateful to our fellow armed men that frequented our house assaulting the enemy with sprays of pesticide.

One morning, as Britton and I were getting ready, Micah decided he wanted a snack. Instead of asking his parents to provide him with his much-needed protein, he munched on whatever was lying around. In this case, it was a half-dead scaly cockroach. By the time we realized his choice cuisine, the insect was squirming around in his mouth, its body no longer in one piece. Britton spotted Micah’s problem before I did, but he couldn’t quite figure out what lay beyond those little drooling puckered lips. For some reason, Britton has never been keen on sticking his fingers in our kids’ mouths; something about the pain of a toddlers relentless bite, but he called me to aide him.

I jammed my index finger through his lips in a hooked fashion without a moment’s hesitation. Then, the first leg dangled out.

If you know me, you can imagine my horror…(I’ve been known to jump out of moving vehicles when I find myself riding with a six-legged creature). Both of us new parents let out a disgusted yell. Micah grinned in delight, drool mixing with creature parts. Despite my aversion to the thing, the thought of it remaining squirming around on Micah’s tongue trumped. I pried open his mouth and rid it of the insect. I then proceeded to power-blast his mouth out with the finger-tip toothbrush and half a tube of baby gum and teeth refresher.

So what’s the catch here, besides of course a fat roach? When I recall that story, I truly laugh, but it reminds me of how sin is to God’s children. We get hungry, and instead of going to the Christ to fulfill us in our purpose, we settle on whatever is right in front of us. What’s so amazing is that God has already come to our rescue by sending Christ to rid us of our sin. Despite God’s aversion to sin, He loved us so much that He sent his only Son to rid us of it. Yet, we go back to cockroaches. Admitidly, often times we don’t even know how harmful and disgusting the sin we meddle in is to us, but God does.

I encourage you to read the passage found in Mark 9:42-50. Jesus speaks about the temptation to sin. How serious is He about ridding our lives from sin? Think about it the rest of this week. And remember always, that the only one who can free you from that sin is our savior, Jesus Christ. No amount of rules and restrictions can do that for you. Focus on the cross, Christ’s sacrifice for you, and see how He changes your view of the roaches in your life.

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