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Daily Devotion

What's Bugging You?

By Beth Patch

Randomly tidying up my house, I lifted and shook out the blanket my dog slept on the night before. Immediately, I encountered a most disturbing sight – a huge water bug – lying on the floor under my dog's bedding! I stood perfectly still, watching to see which direction it would take to escape me. It remained in its place - frozen. Thankfully, it was already dead.

"Great," I muttered as I plodded down the hall for my broom and dustpan. "Now we'll need to spray the whole house with insecticide." My disgust for the situation mounted as I pondered why we call them water bugs, these roaches on steroids. They are just horrible - huge, fast and creepy.

When I returned with my water bug removal tools, I bent down to the floor to make sure the intruder was all-the-way dead before daring to whisk it into the dustpan. Heaven forbid it should wiggle while en route to the trashcan and cause me to freak-out.

"What?" I had to chide myself when I got the close-up view.

This was no roach at all. It was a balled up, flattened out piece of blanket strings that my puppy had chewed up – conveniently posing as a huge water bug! "How silly of me to get so worked up over this would-be bug anyhow," I thought.

As I swept the imposter into my dustpan, I felt that beautiful nudge that comes from the Holy Spirit. The message to my soul was about my attitude.

You see, I am involved in a project that's been weighing heavy on me. It's taking way longer than I expected, has several unresolved problems and I'm not able to do my part of the project without running into barriers out of my realm of fixing. I've really let it get me frustrated and a bit overwhelmed.

This was God's subtle message for me: when I look at the project, I am seeing a water bug! But, it's not a water bug. It may look like one to me, but it's not.

Ah, the reminder that I can get worked up over things that don't deserve that much energy or emotion! My vision and understanding are limited. God's aren't.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Just because I run into difficulties, does not mean that I need to become the judge and jury of how things are. I don't know everything. God does.

So, in response to this edification, I confessed my ugly attitude to the Lord God and asked Him to help me apply and remember this lesson. Because of His power to change me when I am sincere, I adopted a new outlook on the project. I'm at peace with what's going on with this project and not on edge about it anymore.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:10

My relationship with Jesus is no more special than anyone else's. He loves us all the same. He's willing to remove fear, arrogance, judgmental spirits, self-pity, anger – you name it, He's got the removal tool. Change comes when we see what He's showing us and respond to His gentle nudge in anticipation of something good, straight from heaven.

I don't know how the project I'm working on will have all its kinks straightened out. My goal is to do my part with a servant's heart and not look at the difficulties as large, encroaching and menacing bugs. They are merely a collection of old chewed-up strings.

What's bugging you today? Is it really a bug at all?

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