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Humor Me

The Great Mattress Fiasco

By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer

CBN.comIn a previous article, I had mentioned the sunken-bed syndrome that had been keeping me up at night. After months of stiffness and deprived shut-eye, I was beginning to consider a soon purchase of a new mattress set to ease my fatigue.

What really tipped me over the edge was a Skinny Wednesday discussion on The 700 Club about bed bugs and dust mites residing in your mattress and biting you at night. Considering the mattress I had was second-hand from a friend and was nearly ten years old, envisioning these microscopic, skittering creatures attacking me in my now sagging, creaky bed was enough for me to take myself to my nearest mattress seller for some peace of mind. The sooner the better!

So around Labor Day weekend, I finally plunked down the big bucks for a better mattress set and looked forward to no more night crawler visions and puffy-eyed mornings.

Pillowtop Dreaming

While lying on a demo comfy mattress in the store, the expert salesman noticed that my feet were hanging over the edge of the full I was considering. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me, but the fact that he pointed it out made my ears perk up a bit. Wouldn’t I prefer a bigger bed to accommodate my tallness? Defenselessly enwrapped in the plush, supportive mattress, I found myself agreeing. Umm…well, yes. And I reveled in the fact that the bed I was lying on was as Goldie Locks would put it “just right.”

With only a hundred dollars more, I could have the luxury bed I always deserved – er, I mean, wanted. I reasoned that if I were to keep the springy thing for 10 years – and at this rate, I would have to in order to get my money’s worth! – then bigger was better. Plus, if I ever needed this for a spare room, a queen was much more comfortable for guests. And, of course, I also couldn’t help thinking that if I ever were to get married, then a full bed would simply never do.

Within 30 minutes, I made my choice proudly, paid the excited salesman, and awaited delivery. I was thrilled that along with the delivery, the guys would put my bed together for me, so I wouldn’t have to struggle with a heavy mattress all by myself.

In the meantime, we local Virginia residents were hearing almost daily about the threat of tropical storms and hurricanes coming up the East Coast. I was concerned that by some freak of nature the house would flood and my new mattress would get ruined before I had a chance to sleep on it. I had about two more weeks before my FEMA flood insurance took effect. No renter's insurance would cover that kind of damage, and I had just discovered this fact only about two months before my bed purchase. And now it was the height of hurricane season.

Great, just great, Laura, I chided myself. You have the worst timing! This is God’s way of punishing you for spending a lot of money.

Fortunately, it only threatened to rain the day the truck arrived. The lurking tropical storm was little more than a thunderstorm, and it didn’t start to really spit until hours after the guys had unloaded my goods.

Fit for a Queen?

In the midst of all this worry about weather, I had failed to recognize the fact that the steel bed frame that had held my full-size bed wouldn’t accommodate my new queen. It wasn’t until one of the delivery guys explained it to me that I realized those two strapping lads wouldn’t be able to help with the assembly.

“Oh…you are absolutely right,” I said, sounding foolish. “I guess I had better get a bigger bed frame, huh?”

An obvious nod from the deeper-voiced man. I could swear he was laughing at me or cursing me under his breath.

“Do you guys sell bed frames, too?” I didn’t really want to ask, but I knew I needed one – and fast.

Another ‘this lady is so stupid, but just humor her anyway’ nod.

“Ok, then,” I responded rather defeated. “I guess you guys can’t put my bed together then.” And then in one last feeble effort I asked already knowing the answer, “Can you come back later and help?”

A glare from low-voice and an apologetically shrugged “no, we really don’t do that” from the younger loader. And then it was back to the store to get what I needed.

Sixty bucks and a heavier-than-normal load later, I struggled to get the extra-long box into the house without taking out any windows. The salesman had mentioned there should be easy instructions included, which I would gladly follow during assembly later when I got home from work. He had also suggested a new headboard (oh, the gall!), but I had politely declined his offer. My current headboard fit a full or a queen, thank you very much, so at least I didn’t have to spend money on that, too.

When I returned to tackle the bed later that night, I soon discovered that the directions were missing and it took prayer and 45 minutes of brains, muscle, and calisthenics to put what probably would have taken 10 minutes with instructions to complete.

And only then did I realize that in order for my current headboard to work with my new bed frame, I would have to realign the holes in the legs. The holes were so mismatched that I could see drilling new holes would only split the wood completely and then I couldn’t use the headboard at all. I would have to buy a new headboard after all. Ugh!

New mattress and box spring, new bed frame, new headboard – not to mention new sheets, new blankets, and new comforter set, some of which I still haven’t purchased yet. Phew! If I had known, perhaps I would have decided against this money-draining investment.

But despite the initial pain and frustration, I am still glad for my new bed. And when all the pieces are finally in place, I know I will appreciate the struggle even more.

And, funnily enough, as I share this story with you, God brings to mind several spiritual principles that this whole bed fiasco illustrates. And you thought I was just sharing this to make you laugh!

It’s All About Your Framework

Having the right structure or framework in place first before you start building that project or relationship or habit is absolutely essential.  I did it backwards – bed before frame. And what happened? I had to return to square one and get the proper frame before anything else would work.

We can all laugh at my scatterbrained ways – and you should. But how often do we do the same thing in our personal lives? How about having a baby before having the husband and wedding? Or paying for something with plastic money instead of waiting for that paycheck? Or reading the back of the book instead of starting at the beginning? Or demanding a raise when we are lazy workers? We humans, when left to our own devices and own reasoning, can really get things out of whack. And this leads me to point number two.

Build on a Solid Foundation

OK, so it is obvious you have to start with the right framework. But what exactly should that look like?

For the mattress example, it was a steel bed frame with a center support. For the issues of life, it has to be the Word of God. That’s the only solid foundation on which we can build our lives. It’s the only sure cornerstone on which the layers of character and habit can be properly fitted. And it's the one I temporarily disregarded initially.

In 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible tells us, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (NIV). And in Luke 14:28, it says, "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?" (NIV)

Had I considered that Scripture from Luke, I probably would have waited to purchase my bed. But since I didn't "count the cost", God's Word acted as a rebuke as it says in 2 Timothy, rather than the instruction that would have been gentler. Fortunately, even when we make costly mistakes like I did, when we start again with the correct foundation, we can build a better life.

In situations where you need wisdom and understanding to make the right decisions, Proverbs is a great place to start. But don’t discount the rest of the Bible, including the Old Testament. We can learn from each book of the Bible important principles and learn from each individual Bible character what works or doesn't work, what does and doesn’t please God.

Parts is Not Parts

In the mattress case above, I recognized the need for lots of new parts in order for my new bed to operate the way it should – frame, mattress, sheets, headboard, and so on. In fact, I needed all new parts. If I had attempted to mix the old parts with the new parts, I could have had a new sagging bed or a nice bed with sheets that wouldn't cover me or a great mattress that couldn't be properly lifted off of the floor – none of these are great options.

The Bible illustrates this same principle in a passage from Mark 2:21: "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse" (NIV; this same passage is also in Matthew 9:16 and Luke 5:36).

In the same way, I couldn’t load my new bed on the old frame. Having to let go of the old and pay for the new proved to be financially trying and even physically exhausting as I was the only one assembling and moving around the heavy mattress, but it will definitely be the best decision in the long run.

In a much deeper sense, when God asks for your heart and mind and life to completely change, He might just ask you to throw out all those old ways of doing and thinking, believing and being. And when God asks you to install all new parts, it’s going to cost you. That pain you initially feel might be financial, emotional, and/or physical as well as spiritual, but it’s the only way to build your life correctly. You have to let go of the old in order to experience the longer-term blessings of the new. It may cost you a lot upfront, but in the end you will be solidly built and a blessing to God.

So next time you find yourself in your own human error having to work with the Lord on the longer road toward great improvement in your life, don't get too discouraged. Decide not to look at each individual part that must be changed. Consider the whole that He is building.

And just know that someday your life will be like that bed you always wanted to lie in: strong, completely functional, always at rest, and a blessing to those who come to you.

Comments? E-mail me.


How to Give Your Life to Christ:

1. Admit you are a sinner and need forgiveness.

2. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.

3. Through prayer, confess that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and commit to live for Him for the rest of your life.

What to Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life. I know You are the only way to God so now I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You. Please forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You. In Jesus' name. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, please send us an e-mail to let us know. Or you can call our CBN Prayer Counseling Center at (800) 759-0700. We would love to talk with you and send you some resources to help you begin your walk with the Lord.


Laura J. BagbyLaura J. Bagby produces the Health and Finance channels. She writes inspirational, humor, singles, and health articles.

 


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