Monday, September 26, 2011

as bad as Egypt

  It’s feeling like the Plagues of Egypt with ants biting me in the bed, ants breaking into the flour bin, ants in the shower, ants coming in at the window, ants in the bath towels,  ants eating chunks out of the baking powder lid, and ants trekking in thousands across the floors.  They are becoming the bane of my existence.
  It’s as hot as Egypt, too. Just when I’m feeling ready for brisk fall mornings, I’m still waking up to glaring sunshine, and sweat-wringing, mind-baking heat.  Centralized air conditioning is only a vague memory, so why do I find myself day dreaming about it?
  Then there’s the humidity which has been right about at 100%, curling and frizzing my wildly untamable hair. Did the Hebrews have bad hair days in Egypt?
  The kitchen faucet fell off again, spewing water which runs in cool rivulets all over the kitchen counter, and even though I might be as frustrated as Moses, I honestly didn’t even hit it.
  There’s mold all over Amy’s t-shirt this morning just from being thrown in the laundry basket wet with sweat last night after Ultimate Frisbee.  The washing machine is not properly wringing the water out of the laundry, and the capris I put on this morning are stretched way out from dangling one too many times from a clothesline.
  Our Gecko Patrol Unit in the kitchen is obviously not eating nearly enough ants, but they’re still taking the liberty of distributing droppings all over the counters and shelves.  Did they have geckos in Egypt?
  My feet need to be scrubbed again; they are black with dirt and dust from the day.  They are as grimy as if I’d been trekking through desert sands.    

  I open my Bible to prepare for this week’s lesson with Michael:

Moses told his father-in-law about everything the Lord had done
to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel’s sake
and about all the hardships they had met along the way
and how the Lord had saved them.
Exodus 18:8

Yes, there were hardships along the way, like the plagues and the heat and the marching across a dusty desert with thousands of unlikely hikers to lead.  There were water problems and pest issues, and dirty un-bathed feet, and where did they do their laundry? Not to mention fast chases by enemies hell-bent on their destruction.  

Just like me, God’s people then were prone to complain about the discomfort. 

Are you tempted, like me, to complain in the hard times?  All of this dirt on my feet is nothing compared to the revolting mess of my grumbling heart.  Wise Moses didn’t mince words addressing the attitude of thanklessness.

You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.” 
Exodus 16:8


Moses set a different example.  Instead of dwelling on the hardships, he focused on and talked about God’s goodness, and as a result, God was praised! 
Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel
in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians.
He said,
“Praise be to the Lord,
who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh,
and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians.
Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods;”
Exodus 18:9-11

Will you practice that discipline of gratitude with me, and watch how it honors God? 
God is so good. 
This plague of ants is not a plague of rats inside my house, and the newest poison we’ve tried actually seems to slow the ants down.
God has gifted me with the beauty of the hot sunshine, drying our laundry on the line and ripening the tropical fruits we love to eat.  Because of the heat, there are no heating bills to pay, and a glass of ice water has never been more refreshing.
God is so good. 
That humidity frizzing my hair is just one of His many loving ways to keep me humble.
In His amazing goodness He has given me an incredibly capable and kind husband
who would fix that silly faucet in a minute
 if I’d just tell him it was broken.
He’s given me the luxury of a kitchen,
not to be taken for granted,
and the morning offerings left behind cause us to start each day
with freshly washed counters.
God provided bleach that takes out mold,
and He’s blessed us with plenty of clean clothes to wear.
So what if they’re a little stretched?
God is so good to have given me healthy feet. 
Though their dirtiness serves to remind me
of the impurities of sin dragging me down,
 these are the feet God gave me,
and His cleansing power is enough.
These are just a few of the good things He’s done for me.

Like Jethro, I would be delighted to hear 
about the good things He’s done for you today!


Carmen said...

a good thing that God has done recently for me...He sent me you and your incredible openness. Thank you!!! Such a wonderful reminder to be thankful in/for all things. I remember Corrie Ten Boom and her stories of how God used "bugs" to keep them "safe". :)

Kay said...

And I would go to hair salon and PAY to have hair like yours! :/ Like Carmen, I am so thankful for you...and your family. Wonderful post!

us5 said...

thank you, friends! ♥ you guys are too nice.

Carmen...i'll be reading a Corrie Ten Boom book with our Lit class this year - your comment makes me look forward to it! TRULY don't want the frizz!!!