Faith Debugged

Spiritual Insights from an Exterminator

Dirty Jobs. Dirty Deeds.

What’s the dirtiest place you’ve ever found yourself in. The public trash dump? Cleaning out barn stalls? Changing a dirty diaper or a mess of vomit? Walking through a yard where the dog uses the bathroom? Maybe you work in oil and grease. Maybe you’re a vet and deal with sick animals. Maybe you’re a fellow exterminator. Whatever the case, we’ve all been in some moments that we didn’t want to be there because the stench or the place was the nastiest thing you’ve ever seen.

One of the worst accounts I’ve ever found myself in had roaches, fleas, ants, and mice. The kitchen was so riddled with roaches, they came out and greeted me when I walked in. they didn’t run away. There were literally thousands of roaches in every crevice of the bar, beside the stove, behind the fridge, in the drawers, in the kitchen closet, around the doors, throughout the cabinets. You didn’t have to look for them. They were everywhere in the kitchen and living room. Playstation, VCR, TV, and even the ferrets cage was riddled with roaches. No place was off-limits for these roaches.

The fleas were unbearable climbing all over me and no matter what I used to keep them off, it didn’t work. They were ruthless. They covered my pants and hid in my socks. They covered the carpets, the couch and chairs and made the dogs and ferret so uncomfortable.

The ants weren’t near as bad but they were present and making their way into the bathroom. I feared if they headed towards the kitchen they may find some resistance from the roaches. So they pretty much stayed towards the bathroom.

The mice were horrid. In the bathroom as well as under the sink in the kitchen, it was near impossible to see the floor. There was so much mice droppings it literally covered like a carpet. This was a serious health hazard.

The back door was missing a foot of the door at the bottom allowing her dogs to come and go as they please as well as any other animal that might find it well to come inside. As soon as it was time to move to the back yard to spray she realized she had a dead dog on her porch. This dog wasn’t dead earlier in the day.

I only wished I could explain how repulsed I was after leaving this place. It was the nastiest job I had ever encountered. When I left, I found the most remote place I could and literally stripped down to make sure I had nothing on me. As soon as I returned home, I showered and washed my clothes. When I laid in bed that night, the only thing I could think of was that homeowner was laying down to sleep as well… in that place. I cried!

When it comes to nastiness versus cleanliness, my sin is in no comparison to this home. This home is probably cleaner than my sin. My sin is revolting to God.

Isaiah  64:6

 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;

Paul even speaks of those things that he had gained in life to the likeness of dung in comparison to Jesus’ righteousness. (Philippians 3:8) Everything he had done to accomplish his goals and be one of the greatest pharisees had become no less than a bowel movement in his eyes, something to flush down the toilet. Because in light of Christ, our righteousness is nonexistent.

When I walk into a house with so putrid of circumstances, the moment I walk in my stomach turns from the stench I can’t help but be reminded that my sin is just as sickening to God if not worse. Thankfully, God has the power to clean me up. He loves me enough to take me as I am but not leave me like He found me.

Thank God that by the power in the blood I can be washed clean though the amazing grace of God by faith! (Excuse my Christianise.)

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September 9, 2011 Posted by | fleas, roaches | , , , | Leave a comment

Many Things I Ask, One Thing God Asks

Walking into a roach treatment takes the knowledge of where to find the roach’s hideouts, deciding what chemicals to use, how to inform the customer of what your about to do and then communicating your needs from the customer after the job is done.

I like to ask a lot of questions up front. Like how many do they normally see? Where do you see most of them? Do you have any health concerns? Are there small children or animals living in the house? And many more. From there I move to a thorough inspection where I climb through every cabinet, walk through every room and pay close attention to hot-spots like refrigerators, microwaves, cordless phones, water heaters or any other device that makes heat.

Once I have located all infested areas it’s time to treat. There are many products out there to use for the treatment of roaches and I like to hit em with everything I can. Leaves no room for error in killing them. I move to my truck grab my supplies and head in for the task. I spray, I bait, I use some aerosol, I dust, I vacuum. By the time I’m done I have a graveyard and a pleased customer.

The next step is always the hardest. Communicating to the customer what their part is in the eradication of the pests. In my best voice, I try to inform them that I’m finished with my part. Now it’s time to do their part. I need them to stay clean. Clean dishes after every meal. Don’t leave food out because then the roaches choose their food and not my food.

I tell them they need to clean up any dead roaches. Live ones when gone without food for a while will feed on dead ones. I tell them they need to clean the nesting areas where they have laid their feces. This will cause disease to spread and cause anyone in the house to acquire asthma. I tell them much more but I won’t bore you.

The same can be said with God. When we ask God to handle our problems sometimes he tells us some things we have to do first. I normally don’t like these steps I have to make. But if we read in Psalm 51, we can see that David asked for many things from God after his affair with Bathsheba. He asked for grace, washing, cleansing, purity, reminder of joy and gladness, a clean heart, renewed spirit, allowance to stay near to God, restoration, sustenance by the Spirit, and deliverance.

What was David to do? What did God ask David to do? Verse 17 says the sacrifices of God are a broken Spirit, a broken and contrite heart. It would seem to me that God is asking David not to sacrifice animals, or give a burnt offering (v.16) but to sacrifice himself. To give his heart fully. Allow it to be broken so that God can renew it, mend it, and reshape it.

These things David asked. This thing God asks. Are you hung up in sin. Have you made a mistake once, twice, ten times, a thousand times? It doesn’t matter. God asks one thing. Be a living sacrifice. Sacrifice everything you are for everything He is. In the end you have to believe your reward will be outstanding.

January 25, 2011 Posted by | devotion, roaches | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment