My dumb dog chewed a hole in his new super fluffy bed and stuffing was everywhere! I stuffed it all back in the hole and pulled out my ancient little sewing kit. As I mended Ricky Bobby’s bed, I reflected on the times in my life when I felt like my stuffing was everywhere; like something chewed a hole in me and left my heart in pieces all over the floor. Eviscerated like every squeaky toy I have ever given to Ricky. My heart punctured and deflated laying raw and exposed in a pile of stuffing. Stuff happens.
When Ricky shreds his bed, or eviscerates one of his toys, it is because he is a dog. He is professionally trained and well mannered. But, he is a dog, and to expect him to behave otherwise would be ridiculous. He is a dog, and dogs sometimes wreck stuff. It’s why we can’t have anything nice. He is not acting out to upset me, he is not doing something “to me”. In fact, his tearing the stuffing out of his bed has nothing to do with me other than the fact that I have to clean it up. Stuff happens.
It’s probably safe to say that 2020 has left most of us feeling like an eviscerated chew toy at one point or another. Maybe we lost a loved one to Covid-19. Maybe we caught the virus ourselves. Maybe we lost our job, our business, our home, or maybe we lost our joy. Fill in the blank, we’ve all lost something to Covid; at minimum, our freedom to do what we please, when we please, and with whom we please. Or maybe your broken heart has nothing to do with 2020 and all its weirdness, maybe it’s due to the fact that stuff happens. Two of my friends each buried a child this year, and two friends each buried a parent. Not Covid related, just life related. Life, even a great life, has its hardships. How we act and react when in those eviscerating hard times is what matters. Stuff happens.
Remember the scene in The Wizard of Oz where the scary flying monkeys attacked Scarecrow and pulled all the stuffing out of him? Poor Scarecrow was empty, unable to fix himself, completely vulnerable. All he could do was lay there, he was unable to even move. His insides strewn about like straw . . . oh, wait . . . it was straw. Have you ever felt like the Scarecrow? I know I have. What scary flying monkeys are causing your unhappiness, your pain? What scary flying monkeys are causing my sadness? What is it that is ripping the stuffing out of you today? And what are you going to do about it? Stuff happens.
Just like I picked up my ancient sewing kit and repaired Ricky Bobby’s bed; and just like Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion and Tin Man picked up the pieces of their friend the Scarecrow and repaired his brokenness, our heavenly Father longs to pick up the pieces of your heart and put you back together. We must trust God to deliver in His own way, after all, that’s His specialty.
But does He still deliver? Can He still part the seas? Can He deliver you from the scary flying monkeys that cause financial ruin? Marital problems? Emotional heartache? Self-destructive habits? Covid-19? Absolutely, but we must see “deliverance” through God’s eyes for He doesn’t always, or more accurately, seldom views things as we do. “My thoughts are not your thoughts,” the Lord cautions in Isaiah 55:8, “nor are your ways My ways.” His arm is never too short to save, His ear never too dull to hear, nor His eyes too blind to see, after all, His vision is 20/20. (bad pun, sorry)
Cameron Thompson said, “ We have a God who begins with the impossible and goes on from there.” So, when you feel like Ricky Bobby’s bed, chewed up and torn to shreds with your heart eviscerated from your soul, unable to stuff it back in your chest; or like the Scarecrow, empty, helpless and vulnerable, remember . . . our deliverance and hope is rooted in the God who promised to never leave us or forsake us; to protect, defend, avenge and deliver us; who loves, provides, heals and blesses us. Our deliverance and hope is rooted in the God who is gracious, merciful and just, faithful and true. Our deliverance and hope is rooted in the God who never breaks His promises. Our deliverance and hope is in the God who lovingly gets His heavenly sewing kit, and painstakingly, patiently and carefully puts our stuffing back in place and delivers us as only He can. Perfectly. After all, we are His beloved. YOU are HIS beloved!
This song has been hidden in my heart since I first heard it in 1977. True then, true now.
“When I think I’m going under, part the waters, Lord.
When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea.
When I cry for help, O hear me, Lord, and hold out Your hand.
Touch my life, still the raging storm in me.
Knowing You love me through the burden I must bear,
Hearing Your footsteps lets me know I’m in Your care,
And in the night of my life You bring the promise of day,
Here is my hand, show me the way.
Knowing You love me helps me face another day.
Hearing Your footsteps drives the clouds and fear away;
And in the tears of my life I see the sorrow You bore,
Here is my pain, heal it once more.”
My patient Father, Sower of Eternal Life, till and tend my heart. In every pain, and in every opposition, open me more deeply so the seed of Your Word will penetrate deeper to the core of my being. Pour the Holy Spirit like water through me. Let Your truth be proven in the fruit of my life, in everything I say and do, for Your enjoyment, and to Your honor. Amen.