When Your Own Pets Haze You, and Glass Shatters on Your Pillow…

11 05 2010

Sometimes life seems a little unfortunate.

Take, for instance, last night.

I spent the bulk of my night cleaning and packing for a trip to California we’re taking in a few days. I organized the pantry and fridge. I played with the dogs, did laundry, and organized the bathroom cabinets. I even rearranged the plants on the porch. After a long day at work and a long, satisfying evening of cleaning, I was ready to crash.

I recently discovered an amazing scented candle that I absolutely adore. It’s the kind of candle that makes me believe that I’m floating in an inner tube in the Caribbean, instead of cooped up in a tiny apartment with a howling rainstorm raging all around me.

Naturally, this incredible, life-altering candle is now a discontinued scent at Yankee Candle–so I had to go to two different stores to snap up as many of the discounted candles as I could.

That’s Unfortunate #1.

As I climbed into bed, I picked up one of my wonderful candles and attempted to light it.

Unfortunate #2: it shattered in my hand, and tiny shards of glass sprayed all over my pillows and sheets.

Boy. I know I’ve been going to the gym lately, but do I really have that sort of strength? Apparently.

Really, I’m not quite sure how it happened. After all, it was a pretty big candle, in a thick glass container. I surmise that either one of the dogs knocked it off my nightstand and put it back up (that would’ve been Bonzer), or that my dear husband knocked it off and put it back up, or that I actually have a previously unrecognized superpower that I can now use to crush cars and uproot trees.

As I mentally ran through the various nicknames I could now identify with–“Bruiser”, “Hercules”, and “The Beast” were my runners-up–I resigned myself to picking up every tiny speck of glass I could.

Just what everyone wants to do after a long day of hard work, right?

This same sort of unfortunate situation came up a few weeks ago, as I was racing through one of my busiest weeks of the spring. I felt like a hamster, desperately caught on a wheel that was spinning a little too fast, as I ticked things off my vast list.

On that fateful Tuesday, I flew over to our apartment at lunchtime–not to eat, but to vacuum, since we had a small group Bible study that night. I knew I wouldn’t have time to do it after work, because I had meetings scheduled all the way until that small group study–so lunchtime would have to do.

My welcome-home gift from the dogs...they're so thoughtful.

When I arrived home five minutes before that Bible study, I was greeted at the door by two very excited dogs and a sea of shredded toilet paper covering the entire apartment.

They had torn up the entire roll, dragging it through the entire living room, down the hall, into the bedroom, and through the office.

And, of course, they shredded it into the tiniest, most miniscule pieces you could imagine. I was still cleaning up when people began arriving.

Unfortunate #3.

Life is full of these many unfortunate situations–the minor ones (like buying something full-price, using it, and then returning to the store to find out that the item is now discounted significantly), and the major ones (accidents, injuries, sicknesses, and death).

In the words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.”

Yep. I can sure relate to that every once in a while.

But he continues, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:8-10).

What really stands out to me here is that Paul had seen God work in undeniable, incredible, mind-boggling ways. He had seen firsthand the power of God–so much so that his entire life was changed forever. He had experienced a dramatic miracle himself.

And yet, even with this rock-solid proof of God’s love and power, Paul still reverted back to “despairing even of life” when the going got rough.

He questioned. He doubted. He complained. He was depressed. He didn’t understand.

In a word, he was just like me.

But, like Paul, I know that God will deliver me–despite my uncertainty, my questions, my confusion, my angst, and my disappointment.

On Him, I’ve set my hope.

Even when life seems like nothing but one unfortunate situation after another–even when my own pets haze me and glass shatters all over my pillow–He will deliver me.

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