Monday, March 12, 2012

Hello, is this poison control?

Had to call them twice in one day. That’s a record. Even at our house.

I’ve had to dial poison control several times when the kids were little: when someone ate Nandina berries, and someone ate an earthworm, and well, you get the picture. But never twice in one day.

On Saturday, the dazzling sun warmed, buds swelled, and the sounds of children’s laughter echoed throughout our neighborhood.


A great day for home improvements here.

But, for some reason, domestic endeavors rarely turn out well for us. I’ve often thought God must dispatch a few angels every time he sees us venture forth with a lawn mower or paintbrush.

First time we called was when Lucy licked spackling compound. I used it puttying some holes in a project I was repainting. I’d put the container down and didn’t realize Lucy grabbed it. I turned and found it in her mouth. After calling the company who made it, we discovered it contained one percent of a chemical similar to anti-freeze. Trying to contain our panic, we did some quick calculations and realized she’d have to eat two containers of the stuff to get a lethal dose.

Big relief.

Later, my beloved Jerry, who  hates yard work worse than anyone I know, sprayed weeds. In an earlier part of his life when he was a lawyer and had the financial resources, he hired a gardener to do the dreaded outside chores. Lacking the resources now as a preacher, he does it himself. Since he makes it his business not to know asters from Astroturf, he’s killed a nursery full of plants I’ve labored over with his wandering wand. I usually go into high alert when I see him mixing the tank of chemicals.

He had some problems getting the spraying tank to work. It leaked, spewed, something. He wound up with herbicide in his mouth.

He tried to minimize the problem when he told me. “Just a little,” he said. My heart raced. Poison control again.

Thanks to God, once more, it turned out not to be a problem.

My mind keeps going back to the word grace. The tone of this post would have been different if either of those situations had turned out differently. Especially the second one.

But grace.

His all-encompassing grace surrounds us. I’ve had enough heartache in my life to know that even when things don’t turn out well, and it seems God has stepped out of the room, he hasn’t. His grace, his favor, his love, his mercy saturate our lives.

We need his grace.

 We have a whole spring and summer ahead. I really don’t want to put Poison Control on my speed dial, so we’d appreciate your prayers.

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Tomorrow: thoughts on the last few days of With Christ in the School of Prayer. If you're just joining us, you may download or read for free. Just click link in upper right corner.

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