Archive for January, 2018

Not My Will

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Sometimes God hands us some difficult circumstances, and if you are anything like me, you find yourself asking, “Why this? Why me? Why now?”

Three and a half years ago, I was four months pregnant with my fourth and just a couple weeks from starting the new homeschool year with my two oldest children. I was (and still am) a busy mom.

Then it happened. One morning I went to strip the sheets off the boys’ bunk bed, and as I was moving the pillow a bug crawled out onto the top of it.

A bed bug.

I was pretty sure I knew what it was, the moment I saw it. But I was in a bit of shock. A bed bug? In my house?! In my son’s bed?!?! Further investigation over the next few weeks revealed a small infestation in the boys’ room and some in our bed as well. As near as we could determine, the problem had originated from a contaminated piece of furniture we’d picked up two months before. We had detected the contamination before bringing that furniture into the house, but it was too late. They’d got us.

Over the next three months after the discovery, it was war. Ryan didn’t want to call in an exterminator, so it was us two against the bugs. Armed with large recycling bags, a clothes dryer, a silicone gun, and a spray bottle of Dawn dishsoap + water (kills them on contact instantly, by the way), we slowly but surely routed out the enemy and annihilated them.

But it wasn’t so easy emotionally. I struggled with the despair and discouragement. Just when you thought you’d seen the last of them, you would find another, and you knew you would have to keep up the weary routine of changing bedding, inspecting bedframes, spraying cracks, bagging clothing, etc., etc., for another indefinite number of weeks.

The social isolation was also difficult. We couldn’t have anyone over to our home, and our family and friends were reluctant to let us into their houses. I couldn’t blame them — I would do the same if I was in their shoes — but at the same time it was hard for me to accept.

As the weeks ticked by, I began to grow more and more worried. I was approaching my due date. How could I deal with this problem when I was in bed recovering from labour? How could I keep up this extermination routine when I had a newborn to care for?

I began to cry out to God: telling my sob story, making bargains, issuing ultimatums, you name it. “Here’s the deadline, God. Solve my problem for me by this date or…”

Or what? Slowly it began to dawn on me that I wasn’t in any position to be making demands. I wasn’t in control, and no amount of threatening or begging God was going to change my circumstances. The only thing I could change was my attitude.

And so I surrendered. If God intended for this bed bug infestation to continue, then I would simply leave the problem in His hands and continue to do what I could with the resources that I had. That could mean setting aside the extermination routine for a few weeks and picking it up again when I was strong enough, or something else. But whatever it took, I would simply do my part, and leave the rest to God.

As it was, God was gracious, and we finished off the last of our unwanted guests about 4 to 6 weeks before the baby was born. But I gleaned a valuable lesson from the experience, one that has stuck with me since then.Difficult circumstances will come and go, and they are beyond my control. But what I can control is my attitude. I can rage against the perceived injustice of God allowing this difficult circumstance in my life. Or I can accept His providence, and do my best to work through the difficult circumstance with the time, energy, and resources that I have, leaning on Him for strength in my moments of weakness. It’s a choice that confronts me daily, and one that confronts all of us at some point or another in our lives.

But I know, as Romans 8:28 says, “that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to¬†His¬†purpose.” And so I can rest in this knowledge, that even though I may not understand why God has allowed a difficult circumstance in my life, yet I am assured that He will see it through and use it for my good. There is meaning and hope even in the dark and difficult moments of our life, because the Sovereign Lord of the universe sustains and directs every minute and every minute detail of our existence.