02 June 2011

Instrucciones Importantes en Seguridad!!

Peligro! Instrucciones importantes en seguridad!! I don't speak Spanish fluently. I know enough to get by. Today I opened a package that had directions on how to assemble a product. They were in Spanish. Peligro! Instrucciones importantes en seguridad!! I know that means Danger! Instructions important for safety! It's good to be able to recognize "danger" as one of the words in the instructions. It would, of course, be even more beneficial to understand what the danger is and how to avoid it. But nooooooooo~ I only speak enough Spanish to know that there is something potentially hazardous to me in the assembly of the product I purchased. What do you do at that point? Afraid to continue for fear of injury, too proud to concede I sat staring at the instrucciones as if the gift of tongues would suddenly descend upon me and yea, verily, the pamphlet I was holding would suddenly make sense to me. When knowledge came upon me I would dutifully arise and shout; "Glory to God!" and "Hallelujah!" Surely that would be enough for God to gift me with fluent Spanish for just a moment or two, right?

I could feel frustration rising. What good is it to be smart enough to know that I am reading Spanish and not smart enough to admit that although I could make out a few of the words, I am not fluent and had no earthly idea what I was in danger of doing if I continued to assemble without understanding. Just as I was ready to kick the box, toss the parts over my head and rue the day I had purchased something from a company too stupid to know that I didn't speak Spanish, I saw the English instructions on the box. The pamphlet was there to accommodate their Spanish speaking customers. It was an "and also" and not the sole set of instructions. I admit I felt a little sheepish for thinking the unkind stuff I was thinking. "What good is it to be smart enough to open the box and not smart enough to see the directions on the box as you open it!"

Every day brings forth new challenges. Every day there is sufficient new grace to meet those challenges. He exchanges grace for grace. It's really a packaged deal. Why is it I only seem to target the challenges and not the grace that comes with it? I probably have thousands of unopened packages of grace. The older I get the more they seem to pile up. I get frustrated, I get to feeling down, I get to feeling overwhelmed and I forget to reach for the grace that is mine.
Lamentations 3 is a good place to read when I get like this, especially verses 16-24.

16(W) He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and(X) made me cower in ashes;
17my soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness[a] is;
18(Y) so I say, "My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the LORD."

19(Z) Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
(AA) the wormwood and(AB) the gall!
20My soul continually remembers it
(AC) and is bowed down within me.
21But this I call to mind,
and(AD) therefore I have hope:

22(AE) The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;[b]
his mercies never come to an end;
23they are new(AF) every morning;
(AG) great is your faithfulness.
24(AH) "The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
(AI) "therefore I will hope in him."

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