Today’s blog post is brought to us by the amazing Jill Chapman who was a speaker at Crossroads this past year!
The Day my Feather Duvet Exploded and What it Taught Me About God.
Up until this point I have had a general policy of housecleaning: only clean the places people are going to look. This means you never have to clean closets, under beds or in drawers. Over the years this has saved me loads of time and energy. Until this one time, when suddenly it didn’t.
I have a feather duvet on my bed. It is the softest, warmest blanket ever. Everyone in my house loves it. My kids like to wrap themselves up in it and crawl around the house, pretending to be worms. They also like to use it as a crash landing pad when they are wrestling. As you can imagine, over time my feather duvet has become a little threadbare. So threadbare, in fact, that the holes got big enough for it to start shedding feathers. Tiny little bits of duck down poof out of my duvet whenever it is lifted or shaken. For a few weeks, I was too busy to do anything about this duvet, and so I just let it shed feathers.
Then one day, it got to be too much and I had to clean up the mess. Since I had not cleaned under my bed in a year, and I share my house with a husband, four children and a cat, it was a bit of a mess. You see, all kinds of toys, socks, dishes and sippy cups had somehow made their way under my bed. They had been gathering dust and fluff. And in the last while, they had also been gathering feathers. So by the time I finally started to clean up the feathers, I did not just have to vacuum up a little bit. I had a half day major clean up operation on my hands. It was a huge mess.
What does this have to do with you or with God? Everything. We live in a culture that often tells us to stuff things. If something goes wrong, we are told “All things work together for good. Just keep going.” When we are angry with God we are told, “God’s thoughts are above our thoughts. There’s nothing you can do. Keep going.”. If we have questions about our faith, we hear, “Faith is believing what we can not see. Keep going.” And in order to appear like good Christians, we often smile and tell everyone we are fine, meanwhile stuffing our sin, our sorrow and our doubts under our metaphorical bed. And this works out for us, for a while. Until something happens that is too big to fit under the bed. Until life gets the better of us and throws feathers all over the place. Because we did not deal with things as they came, we now have a huge mess to deal with.
This is not the example of faith we see in the Bible. In the Psalms, the Bible’s prayer and worship book, we see a different way of dealing with sin, doubt, anger, hurt and despair. We see David and the other writers giving these things up to God with open, honest hearts. They seek God, and take comfort in what they know of his character and his faithfulness. Here are a few examples:
Psalm 6: |”O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me for my bones are troubled.”
Psalm 10: “Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
. . . . Arise O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted . . . O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice.” (vs. 1, 12, 17)
Psalm 13: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? . . . But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” (vs. 1, 5).
In each situation, David turns to God and tells him what is going on. He doesn’t stuff things. He has it out with God. And this reminds him of God’s good character, and of His past faithfulness to David. This means David can move forward without a big mess under his bed. If a challenge comes his way, he does not need to self-destruct. He is already in a good place with God.
I want to encourage you to do the same. Talk to God about everything. Turn it over to him. Let him heal and comfort you. Then when trials come, you will be ready to face them together, assured of His faithfulness and love for you.