Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Couch with a Huge Appetite

I have a confession to make.  I have kept it hidden long enough.  My couch has a hole in it.  The hole is perfectly hidden out of site by the cushions lying over it, but it is there and it is growing.   It is not just a little barely noticeable hole. It is a HUGE hole...and it tends to eat things.  If you have ever been to my house, sat on my couch, and had loose change in your pockets, it is likely that your change was missing when you arrived home, because my couch probably ate it.  Sadly, this hole is not even a respecter of persons and has even been known to eat the belonging of  babies.  The hole in my couch is so large, in fact, that it tends to even eat my children on occasion. Thankfully, my couch  has no ability to fully digest eventually they are able to wiggle free from the springy teeth entrapping them; but the couch tries to eat them, nonetheless.  I have found the craziest things in the belly of my couch...rubber bands, remote controls, books, socks, yogurt containers, perfume, DVD's, and once I even found a live chipmunk (don't ask)  You name it, I have probably found it!
The interesting thing about the hole in my couch is that at one time, a few years back, the hole was so tiny that it was barely noticeable.  In fact, it was so small I didn't pay any attention to it at all.   Now I pay attention to it.  When something is missing in our home, the huge hole in the couch is the first place we tend to look.  

 Not only does this huge hole in my couch eat everything it can manage to fit into it's bloated stomach, it also causes the couch to be annoyingly uncomfortable to sit on.  If there are more than two people sitting on it at a given time, both individuals tend to sink towards the middle if you know what I mean.  At times, I try and rearrange the cushions on the couch thinking it may make the hole a little less noticeable, but to no avail...the HUGE hole is still there and growing larger.  Despite my best efforts, the couch is still uncomfortable and it still eats things that I don't desire to have eaten.

I was thinking about the hole in my couch today as I was frantically cleaning for our adoption homestudy which takes place this evening.  I must have spent 20 minutes fishing out all of our lost items and prized possessions, so I had plenty of time to think!

I was thinking about my life and how easily I tend to try and hide those areas of my life which I don't want anyone to know sins, my fears, and my struggles.  Or, how I at times try and make a change outwardly without regard to what is happening in my heart.  Often times I become self-sufficient thinking that I have a better solution to my sin, fear, or struggle than God does.  You know what I mean, don't you?  
"What would others think of me if they knew that I struggled with keeping my house clean? Well, I just need to find a better routine and it will get better."
"I am feeling really overwhelmed right now.  Maybe I just need to call and cancel a few of my appointments until next week when I am feeling better."
Can anyone out there relate?  Why is it so easy for us to just brush our sins, fears, and struggles aside as being just a "small, barely noticeable" hole?"  Or, why are we content to just "rearrange" the cushions in our lives thinking that in some way it will make things better?

I think the problem can be summed up with one word....PRIDE.  We at times think we know better than God.  Admit it...I will admit it.  It shames me to say it, but it is true.  There are so many times that I act as though I know better than God.  But, the Bible has a lot to say about pride.  Here are two verses that demonstrate very clearly how God feels about pride in our lives: 
James 4:6 says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
Proverbs16:18 says, "Pride goes before destruction,and a haughty spirit before a fall."
God's desire for us would be that we would be filled with humility, recognizing our need for a Savior, rather than being filled with pride which causes us to be self-absorbed.  So, how do we grow in humility?  Well, one expression of humility is being willing to cast our anxieties, fears, and struggles onto the Lord.  Look at the following verse: 
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

John Piper expresses how humility looks as well:
 “Faith admits the need for help.  Pride won’t.  Faith banks on God to give help.  Pride won’t.  Faith casts anxieties on God.  Pride won’t.”
"Every good thing in the Christian life grows in the soil of humility. Without humility, every virtue and every grace withers."
Our adoption homestudy was canceled for tonight.  I guess that means next week I will have the privilege of emptying the belly of my couch again.  I hope that as I do, I am able to cast a few more of my "holes" onto the Lord, giving Him thanks for the wonderful things He has taught me through the Huge, hungry hole in my couch which I was too prideful to admit was there until it was so large that it made sitting simply unbearable.

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