1 day to go… Rat in the Gap

Psalm 139:23-24 New International Version (NIV)

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

In my previous job, I worked as a financial adviser in a Bank. One day the strangest smell emerged from one of the offices. No one could discover its cause. This smell grew stronger and stronger as the weeks went by and slowly the building became unbearable to work in. The pungent stench remained present like a thick cloud until one day we noticed a fly land on a small red/brown patch on a ceiling tile.

It turns out what had happened was a rather large rat had crawled between the ceiling tiles and decided this would be the best place to… well die. The mystery scent was indeed Mr Rat’s body slowly decaying and emitting a smell that was guaranteed to ruin your day. Gross I know, but I think this picture of a rodents unfortunate demise can teach us a thing or two about what can happen when things remain unchecked.

David’s prayer in Psalm 139 asks God to search him, to have a look and see if there is anything offensive in his heart or in his spirit. I have come to realise that if left unchecked, certain things can give off a bad smell in our lives. For example

  • Bitterness
  • Offense
  • Anger
  • Pride
  • Selfishness

These things and more can give off an offensive smell if we allow them to fester in our hearts. There have been countless times where I feel God has said to me in a grace filled and loving way “Nath, you stink”.

Times like SYC create an awesome opportunity to ask God to change us, to clean us out and to realign our hearts with his. My encouragement to you however is this; don’t wait until you’re at SYC to ask such a question of God. Ask him today! Pray like David “God search me; see what I am anxious about, and is there anything offensive within me? Do I need to forgive someone? Am I holding onto anything that is hurting me?” If we can get our hearts in the right place before camp – just imagine what God will do in and through us whilst we are there. I can’t wait to be with you guys at SYC 2018!

Nathan Jorden