Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bed Bugs. . . aaahhhhh!

Today I am cleaning my room. And not just your everyday "pick up the clothes all over the floor, stuff everything else under the bed" kind of cleaning. No I am actually being thorough. . . dusting, vacuuming under the furniture, wiping the baseboards, cleaning my windows (which nobody actually sees), etc. You may wonder why I am having this sudden impulse to do something I normally find so pointless. Well. . . the title pretty much says it all. Bed Bugs. They are single-handedly the most annoying, most sneaky, meanest bugs in the ENTIRE universe. And who knew it, but there are tons of interesting facts and spiritual lessons that come to light when experiencing the joys of Bed Bugs!

Interesting Fact #1: The belief that Bed Bugs hang out in dirty places is a myth. However, places with more clutter or that aren't cleaned as often will be easier for Bed Bugs to hide in. For those who don't know, I am just about the worst house-keeper in the world when it comes to my bedroom. Which brings me to . . .

Spiritual Lesson #1: Much of the pain that comes upon us in life is our own fault. It is so easy to complain and whine about things when in reality, we ourselves caused it. Lord, help me to take responsibility for my actions rather than blaming my circumstances.

Interesting Fact #2: Some people have little or no reaction to Bed Bug bites.

Interesting Fact #3: I am not one of the these people. Elizabeth and I share a room, and she has yet to share in my misery. My mom and dad sleep in the same bed, and yet my dad is the only one with any bites.

Spiritual Lesson #2: As Christians, we all struggle with different sins. We need to be prepared to support others in whatever way they made need it, even if it is in an area that we have no problem with ourselves. Comparison is a dangerous trap. Lord, help me to care about others and their struggles rather than just complaining about mine.

Interesting Fact #4: You cannot scratch bug bites and sleep simultaneously.

Spiritual Lesson #3: When you are awake in the middle of the night is an excellent time to talk with God. The house is totally silent, there are no distractions (well, except bug bites), and spending time with God can be a good way to get your mind off those bug bites. Lord, help me to be in constant communication with you and to take advantage of those times I am up at 2 am . . again.

Interesting Fact #5: There are no identifiable benefits or positive aspects of Bed Bugs.

Spiritual Lesson #6: This is an excerpt from an amazing book, The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. . .if you haven't read it, I would most certainly recommend it. This conversation takes place shortly after they are sent to Ravensbruck, the concentration camp.

Suddenly, I sat up, striking my head on the cross-slats above. Something had pinched my leg. "Fleas", I cried. "Betsie, this place is swarming with them!" . . . "Here! And here another one!" I wailed. "Betsie, how can we live in such a place!"

"Show us how, show us how." It was said so matter of factly it took me a second to realize she was praying. More and more the distinction between prayer and the rest of life seemed to be vanishing for Betsie.

"Corrie!" she said excitedly. "He's given us the answer! Before we asked, as He always does! In the Bible this morning. Where was it? Read that part again!"

I glanced down the long dim aisle to make sure no guard was in sight, then drew the Bible from its pouch. "It was in First Thessalonians," I said. . . " . . .rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus ---"

"That's it Corrie! That's His answer. 'Give thanks in all circumstances!' That's what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!"

I stared at her, then around me at the dark, foul-aired room. "Such as?" I said.

"Such as being assigned here together."

I bit my lip. "Oh yes, Lord Jesus!"

"Such as what you're holding in your hands."

I looked down at the Bible. "Yes! Thank You, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank You for all the women, here in this room, who will meet you n these pages." "Yes," said Betsie. "Thank You for the very crowding here. Since we're packed so close, that may more will hear!" She looked at me expectantly. "Corrie!" she prodded.

"Oh all right. Thank You for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed, suffocating crowds." "Thank You," Betsie went on serenely, "for the fleas and for ---"

The fleas! This was too much. "Betsie, there's no way even God can make me grateful for a flea."

"'Give thanks in all circumstances,'" she quoted. 'It doesn't say, 'in pleasant circumstances.' Fleas are part of this place where God has put us."

And so we stood there between piers of bunks and gave thanks for the fleas.

To have a faith like that! To give thanks to God in even the worst of circumstances! My problems with Bed Bugs are not nearly as terrible as what those two women faced. And yet the principle is the same: Give thanks to God in all circumstances, not just the pleasant ones. So thank you God for Bed Bugs!

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Ode to the bed bug by RGH. This is what the title should have been. I HATE bugs! We have little chocolate aprinkle-like bugs invading us right now. No biting, just annoying. Try taking a bath in Aveno bath stuff. They recommend it for chicken pox, so should work for all of your bed bug bites. Love, Mrs. R.