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I wouldn’t consider myself a bugphobe, but it’s difficult not to notice when a good sized, woods cockroach goes scampering across your patio heading straight for your bare feet!  I’ve been known to gently place the more eye-catching species in a jar and set them free into the wild. But the likes of mosquitoes, flies, and certainly cockroaches, I feel no remorse in squishing the little buggers and effectively disposing of them!

I had a stressful day last week. You know the kind that wraps its talons around your unsuspecting neck and whisks you to places you should never go? I found myself in the throes of another’s displeasure leading me to deal with my own default of trepidation. Though I had many good distractions, I was aware of the issue as if a low grade fever was taking over my otherwise healthy body. The source of stress was continually in the back of my mind, even though I functioned as if it wasn’t.  This day was full of people that I love, food in abundance, games to play, and laughter filling the air. Being left with a lovely mess, I set out to clean up and reflect upon the day. As I shook out the carpet on the back patio at 12:30 a.m., the light of the moon was wonderfully luminous and its lure invited me to partake of its beauty. Dropping my chores, I sat, wine glass in hand, and just gazed, taking in the night sky. I asked the Lord what to do about the issue at hand. He was silent. I waited, but nothing clearly came to me….just a delicious peace. So I went back inside, climbed into bed, and wandered to the same breezeless spot the next night.

That’s when it happened!

As I sat in communion with the Creator, suddenly this six- legged periplaneta Americana entered the scene. My eyes were fixed on its whereabouts and my peace exited. I couldn’t get my focus off the creature and there wasn’t a fly swatter, bat, shoe, or exterminator in sight. I knew if I ran in the house my peace would be disrupted (though it obviously had already been disrupted!). It was clear that this tiny insect was ruling my quiet time!

God has shown me many times over that I’m to keep my eyes fixed on HIM. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says, For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

My eyes were fixed on the distraction rather than the Defender.  What my roach-encounter revealed to me was the incredible pull to focus on the insignificant in light of the magnificent. God was clearly infusing me with His peace and that critter was used to irritate me with panic! A magnetic pull toward the negative was surprisingly strong in that moment…so strong that it temporarily eclipsed the serenity of the evening and all the beauty being displayed right in front of me. It caught my attention and I had to make a choice…focus on bug or focus on beauty. The draw of Love was stronger.

As I basked in the moonlit splendor I wondered how many times I’ve let the roach dictate my state of being.  Have my dilemmas overshadowed God’s solutions? I’ll be quick to admit the “bug” wins out more times than not.

But awareness is the beginning of change.

So now when the negative issue comes to steal my joy I name it “cockroach”. Ugliness has a name. And my beautiful, splendid, radiant, Joy-Giver God has called me to gaze at all the loveliness that surrounds me, walking barefoot into His majesty.

Gratefully, He totes the Raid.

Lori Travers

Lori finds the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. Born and raised an Italian Jersey girl, she has finally settled in the south as Reynolda Presbyterian church became her new home. Ministry to women, reading, writing, cooking, and anything having to do with animals are her sweet spots. Having a background in cardiac testing, she chose to stay home and raise three incredible children who are now married, and currently has 2 precious granddaughters and one faithful husband of 34 years.

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