"The nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes." ~ Ezekiel 36:23

Sunday, April 05, 2009

little things test us more

It's an easy testimony to give our Lord praise and glory in the large obstacles that are overcome in our lives,  but consider the little trials more.  I see in my life that I am not as ready as I once was to thank God for the little things and have been quick to grumble when things are not going my way.

This morning I had occasion to replace a component in my computer.  Upon opening the computer I discovered that the CPU fan was covered in dust, not something that I see normally, but having recently moved the box from the table to the floor, not unexpected.  The amount of dust, however, led me to wonder, "Why so much dust, I vacuum 2-3 times a week, isn't the vacuum cleaning sufficiently"?.

I set the computer body onto the seat of a chair, and went for the vacuum to clean the inside of the case.  Pulling the crevice wand from the vacuum body, I tested the suction and noticed there was minimal strength.  I was puzzled by this as I had just vacuumed last night and it had seemed to be working.  I began breaking down the vacuum and discovered that I had been vacuuming for the last month without a bag!  The vacuum had been given to me recently and I had neglected to check for a new bag, the 10-12 times I had used it had just been storing the dust into the bag cavity until it eventually met the ultimate result of no longer being able to function correctly.  In my chagrin, I went for the box of filters that had been given me with the vacuum, along the way remembering that I had never opened the box to determine its contents.  Would a bag be inside or was I readying for a trip to the store?

I was delighted to discover one bag in the box and set about installing it into the vacuum.  This would have been a nice time to thank God for His provision, for the bag and for the vacuum, but "no", I did not rise to the occasion, failing to give God His due.

Switching on the newly transformed vacuum, I discovered that it now worked with an amazing intensity that I had not seen before, and for the first time in a month, my carpets, were actually being cleaned!  In my haste to clean the floor, however, I knocked the computer case from the chair to the floor, shattering the cover!  I am ashamed to admit that a curse loud enough to disturb any lingering dust bunnies did leap from my lips.

In perusing the case, I remembered that  someone else had gifted me with an empty case, just this size.  I went for it and was delighted to discover that it was an almost exact replacement.  Sadly,  "no", I still did not give God His due praise and thanks.

I began removing the components from the broken case.  In this activity i was mindful of how much I disliked this now broken case.  It had given me several moments of consternation since its purchase and realization that it was a cheap piece of junk; functional but easily broken in its weak, thin metal body.  As I removed the components and pieces of hardware I began to formulate a cynical joy that I would soon be trashing this box and finally ridding myself of it's odious presence.  I gleefully uttered aloud, "Die, you piece of &*#@, die!".

It hit me at once that I was cursing something which God had provided.  He provided me with the resources to purchase it and with the ability to join it with other goods to fashion a functional computer.  He has given me a quick and keen mind with which to deliberate and consider alternative choices, making the best of that with which I have been blessed.

In shame, I asked Him for forgiveness and praised Him, thanking Him for providing the gift of this box, asking His forgiveness for my ungratefulness and thanking Him for the replacement box which He had sent my way, knowing that I would be needing it soon.  I thanked God for my abilities, I thanked Him for watching over me, in every way.

After a trip to the dumpster, discarding the now broken case, I sat down at my backup computer (Thank you Lord) to pen this message, looking over the pieces and parts of the other still resting on the (now clean) floor.

I want to go back to a piece of a line above, "functional but easily broken in its weak, thin metal body".

That's me.  I have struggled lately in many areas of my life, all due struggles because I have allowed myself to slide away from my Lord, away from time in His presence, away from new discovery, away from prayer and away from His voice.  I have become disfunctional because my body has become "weak" and "easily broken".  I have separated myself from my Lord, from fellowship and from my own family.

I can not, at this sitting, enumerate an area of my life that is functioning in strength today.  I am, however, "changing the bag".  I am going to finish this letter and pick up my Bible.  It's a new day and discovery awaits.  I'll finish putting my computer back together later.  There are things more important to accomplish.

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