Three Percent

mouse-47172_150A couple years ago, I had three non-fiction pieces published in the anthology Inspire Faith. One of them, Working in the Three Percent, illustrated the difficult circumstances (the discovery of a mass on my husband’s kidney) in the midst of a joyful time in our lives (our wedding). It’s an analogy about how God often works miracles when a prognosis is slim or our chances seem bleak. Of course, that’s what constitutes a miracle!

I thought about this story yesterday when I happened upon a chapter from Priscilla Shirer’s book The Resolution for Women. It was the title that got my attention—The Three Percent Difference—for obvious reasons. But unlike my narrative of God’s amazing grace, Priscilla focused on something entirely different: Rat poison. Yeah, kind of shocked me, too, especially after reading the lead in scripture from Luke 21:34—Be on your guard, so your minds are not dulled.

On page 153, Priscilla writes, Rat Poison. I’ve never really paid much attention to it…until today, when I found out from a friend that most varieties are made up of 97 percent food and only three percent poison. These products lure those nasty rodents [my apologies to any of you who may be offended, like my daughter who happens to think rats make good pets] by the smell and taste of something they actually like, a delectable treat that feels good going down. But along with a tasty meal, they also ingest trace amounts of fatal toxins that are enough to end their reign of trash-induced terror. Rats die (and aren’t we glad they do) [sorry Nikki] because of a small thread of poison laced within an enticing serving of food. Three percent.

Of course, her point isn’t the extermination of rats, but an analogy of how it’s only that small three percent that kills—just like the minute opening we may allow in our lives for Satan to take hold. It might be in the television shows we watch, the gossip we take part in or the casual way we handle our finances. That three percent is all it takes to desensitize us in one area or another in our lives. Once that sets in, we’re only one baby step away from justifying our actions, like an addict in denial. Harsh? Maybe. But God calls us to a higher level of accountability—one that we can’t accomplish under our own strength. We’re called to put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil—Ephesians 6:11.

As I read this chapter from Priscilla’s book, I thought about some of the choices I make. If Jesus was beside me (and, really, He is!) would I adjust my thinking? The thoughts that pop into my head at times—would I allow them to take hold? The petty irritation with slow drivers (a personal pet peeve of mine), or frustration over minor things that rob my joy…the list could go on forever. And I could easily ignore those nudges from the Holy Spirit that remind me of Whose I am—after all, I’m forgiven, right? But I know the blessings that come from admitting my failures and seeking God’s grace. Peace and joy that surpasses anything else this world has to offer.

Three percent. What steps will you take to guard your heart?

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