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Topic: Learning for Life (08/23/04)
TITLE: His Humor
By Kay Brown
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Of course, His timing was perfect.
I sought counsel for ‘depression,’ due to what I felt were gross injustices, but I was undeniably murmuring and complaining. My dear friend had just started to console me, when I suddenly noticed that I had absent-mindedly tucked my fingers into my desk drawer handle and my hand would not budge. Despite the morose mood that precipitated my call, as I wiggled and tried to remove my fingers, I began to giggle. She probably suspected that I had really lost it.
Delicately, she asked, “Are you, uh, laughing?”
“Well, my hand’s stuck.”
“Your hand? Stuck how?”
My self-absorbed pity-fest suddenly evaporated. “I…I just slid my hand into my desk drawer handle and it got stuck where my wedding ring is. I’m a ditz - I really can’t get my hand out, this is ridiculous.”
Being a nurse, she responds well in crises, “Okay, get some ice, right away.”
By this time, I was chuckling aloud, “I can’t! I’m stuck to the desk!”
“Well, call someone to help you!” she urged, starting to snicker. Our previously somber conversation quickly deteriorated into gasping howls of laughter.
At precisely this moment, as tears filled my eyes and I unexpectedly felt a urgent need to relieve my bladder, my dear husband passed by our office door. He stopped. Slowly turning, he watched as I madly tugged at my hand, floundering with tearful, uncontrollable laughter. Hesitating with his head cocked and one eyebrow raised, he finally dared to ask the question husbands dread asking, “Are you, uh, okay?”
“No,” I shrieked, “Go get me some ice!”
“Okay, …for what?”
“My hand is…stuck in the drawer handle…and I can’t…get it out!” I choked.
“Oh,” he shrugged, curiously unconcerned. He turned to get the ice. I guess 15 years of marriage to me have made emergencies rather routine.
“Don’t pull too much,” my sobering phone partner cautioned, “Your fingers will swell and make things worse.”
“Now you tell me,” I retorted, watching my fingers puff and turn red.
Windex cleaner finally freed my ballooning fingers. With a big sigh, I said goodbye to my thoroughly amused friend and profusely thanked my husband for his timely aid. “It’s good you weren’t here alone,” he mused.
“We have seven children,” I reminded him, “I am never alone.”
I think God used my stuck-hand experience to show me that I was taking my life too seriously. In premeditating a wallow in delicious self-pity, I had completely forgotten and was discounting Jesus’ Big Promise:
“I will never leave you, or forsake you.”
It is terribly difficult to luxuriate in self-pity while laughing or praising God for Windex. In fact, it is impossible. God simply wants us to trust Him, instead, I was planning to wish, wheedle and whine long-distance. Succumbing to the temptation to resist my tough circumstances, I watched my peace and joy fly right out of the window. Graciously, the Lord took advantage of my odd entrapment to remind me that He was, despite all appearances, still very much in control.
Ironically, I have actually preached, ‘praise God through tough circumstances,’ more times than I care to admit. He knows that I know what to do when life becomes rocky. Maybe He was bored with using His usual methods to get my attention -- you know, like a killer sermon, Scriptures or my patient friend’s good counsel. Perhaps the Lord enjoyed my little stuck-hand situation. I hope so.
I am convinced He has a splendid sense of humor.