For the past six weeks, I’ve had an all-out war with a family of squirrels. Sometime last fall, or over the winter, they decided to make our home their home.
We certainly enjoy opening our home for guests, but a squirrel family, though cute, are unwelcome guests.
When I first discovered the holes they were chewing through our house, my thought was to get out my gun and shoot them. That’s what I would do if I were still in Montana.
But being in a suburb of Dallas, I thought that the neighbors wouldn’t appreciate me shooting a gun next door, and so went down to Home Depot to get some poison.
As it turns out, it’s illegal to poison squirrels.
Instead, I was supposed to use to a live trap to capture them. So I went to the Animal Shelter to get my trap.
I caught the first squirrel in about two days. I used apples and peanut butter as bait. Then I reset the trap and waited. For a week, I never heard another squirrel, so I figured they left. I returned the trap and got up on our treacherously steep roof to patch the holes, then went into the attic and put screen over the other holes.
The very next day, I heard the squirrels chewing new holes to get out of our house. Since I had closed off their exit doors, they decided to make new ones. So I went back down to the shelter, got the trap again, set it, and caught another squirrel, then waited and waited, and not hearing anything, patched the new holes, and returned the trap.
The very next day, I heard the squirrels chewing new holes to get out of our house. Since I had closed off their exit doors, they decided to make new ones. So I went back down to the shelter, got the trap again, set it, and caught another squirrel, then waited and waited, and not hearing anything, patched the new holes, and returned the trap. (Yes, I meant to repeat the last paragraph. Do you see a pattern here?)
Two days ago, I got up on the roof and through some super-sleuthing, figured out where the nest was, and tore part of the roof off to get at it. I spent an hour or more pulling squirrel nesting out of my roof. In the process I found two dead squrrels. (I didn’t kill them, honest!) Today, I patched that hole in the roof and will return the trap to the Animal Shelter. Tomorrow, I fully expect to hear squirrels chewing holes in my house.
Why am I sharing all this?
I believe that God wants to teach us things through nature. It is, of course, one of the four primary ways God teaches us things (the other three being Scripture, conscience, and other people). These squirrels taught me that when a door is closed, sometimes you just have to chew a new one. If you throw up your hands in defeat and say “God’s not opening any doors for me!” you’ll starve to death.
I’m facing a time in my life right now when all the doors seem closed, and have been wondering why God doesn’t open one for me to walk through. “I’ve got a family to feed!” I tell Him.
But I’m beginning to think that by listening to squirrels chew holes in my house, God is telling me He doesn’t want me to go through any of those doors I’ve been knocking on. Instead, He wants me to chew a new one.
I’m excited to see where I come out, but I hope the owner of the house doesn’t get too mad…