Okay. This is what I thought:
that when I did the right thing
I would feel
Uhm….. that’s not what is going on.
See, I went into Marshall’s several months ago and saw this bedspread. It was a queen. There was only one in this pattern. And there were two shams on the shelf … not four or one … but two.
I decided I’d just “put them into my buggy” while I shopped. You know … so nobody else would pick them up. I would think it over as I looked around. Because I wanted to buy them.
But, I knew as I lifted them off the shelf that I shouldn’t buy them.
In fact, I already owned two beautiful, perfectly functional bedspreads.
But, I had the money and I absolutely loved them. Really. I’ve never seen a quilt that I like better. Ever. The colors were perfect … earthy and muted and outdoors-brought-in. The design was different and it had a geometric order to it. And it’s very organic. Delicious cotton and just the right weight. *swoons* It matches everything in our home. I could put this on my table as a tablecloth, use it as a shower curtain in a bathroom or lay it across a bed and it would match in any spot (okay … I’m not say that I WOULD do those things …. I’m just saying that I COULD do those things … because the bedspread matches my home well).
I finished shopping and decided I would buy them. It was the only set in the store. I could always return them later … you know … if I am certain that God doesn’t want me to have them.
I’ve been very patient. I’ve been patiently waiting for God to tell me that it’s okay to go ahead and open them up and dress my bed. I’ve been waiting to NOT feel disobedient. I’ve been waiting to get past this unsettled feeling.
Honestly, I don’t know what in the hell I was thinking. (Yes, I chose those words carefully and intentionally).Glory was so sweet to tell me, “Mama, you don’t need to feel bad about doing something special for yourself. You deserve it.” That’s a very sweet sentiment … but I just can’t find scripture to back that up.
Don’t get me wrong. God provides for us and loves us and He lavishly showers us with blessings – spiritual, emotional, physical – at times. BUT, this was not one of those times. And I knew it.
Since I bought these, I’ve even felt the effects in our home. Our dishwasher has broken, my son’s car was totaled, my van has had multiple complications and both my kids have told me that they are experiencing nightmares at night. I, too, have had trouble with bad dreams, which is completely out of the ordinary for me. No matter the amount of stress or worry, I’ve rarely been one to have bad dreams. Until lately …..
Do I think that God punishes us with hail and brimstone when we don’t do what He asks? No. Do I think that He can and does, at times, remove His protective hand when we are intentionally disobedient? Absolutely.
Even my Bible reading has had one convicting story after another. One of the most recent was from the book of Joshua. The Israelites were not experiencing the protective hand of God in their battles. Joshua cries out to God, “What is going on here????” God tells him that the people were disobedient. Specifically, “They have taken some of the accursed things and … hid them among their own stuff.” (Jos 7:11) So, Joshua wants to get to the bottom of this so he gets up early in the morning and brings in the people, one tribe at a time, one family at a time, one person at a time. He systematically goes through the people until he finds the scoundrel: Achan. Achan hid
a flashy bedspread and two matching pillow shams a Babylonian garment, 200 shekels and a wedge of gold in the earth in the middle of his tent. Slick, Achan. Thirty-six people died (Jos 7:5) and an entire group of people were heartbroken and discouraged …. ALL because of your selfishness! Way to go. Is a bedding REALLY that important?
I think about my own children. If I tell Joy that I don’t want her to … let’s say, use my good scissors. It may be that I am protecting her because I know the pair she wants to use are super sharp. Or maybe they’re malfunctioning. It may be that I have some special scissors for her and I want her to use her schmucky scissors so she’ll appreciate her forthcoming gift. It may just be that I want her to learn to obey me whether she understands the “why” or not. Whatever the reason, I’ve given her an answer and the answer is “no.”
Until she is given permission for using them, she should find some other way to cut paper. It will never be okay UNTIL she is given permission.
And that was me. Glory was sweet to try to console me; but I knew I had been told “no.” My first mistake was to
bury these items in the sand in the midst of my tentput these items into my buggy.
And let me clarify here; I don’t think that God speaks to us about every little thing that we do.
But, at least in THIS particular case, I knew that I had been told “no.”
I just didn’t like what I heard. So, I tried to reason it away with time.
I took the bedspread and shams back to Marshall’s today.
It was hard to walk into the store.
It was hard to hand over that which wasn’t mine in the first place …
that which sparkled and tinkled and sang to me of
comfort and solace and beauty
with soft colors and stitched fabric.
But, I did it.
I thought I’d be joyful and relieved
after I walked out of the store.
I don’t feel any big relief.
In fact, I’m a little melancholy.
I really liked that bedspread.
But, it really wasn’t mine to keep.
At least I’m thankful that the hidden booty is gone.
Maybe we’ll all sleep better at night.