Sunday, July 10, 2011

Surrendering Fleas

Flea infestation around these parts. Cats, dogs, fleas. That's just the way it goes. (Don't trouble your pretty head about it. We are doing all the right things.)

Jeff is a master flea warrior. When a flea jumps on him, he pinches it between thumb and forefinger and rolls it back and forth until it's dead.

I can't do that. My hand and arm muscles are too weak. When a flea jumps on me, sometimes I can catch it, sometimes I can't. I can never kill it. One time, I even split a flea in half between my fingernails. I was sure I'd won that time.

Until one half hopped away.

Nasty bugger. (As my dad would say.)

I've had to give up and admit that I'm no flea killer. Now, whenever I catch a flea, I surrender the darn thing to Jeff, and he kills it for me. He's my flea warrior hero.

I asked Jeff this week, "Why did God make fleas so hardy?"

Jeff didn't know why.

Me neither.

But I thought about it for a few days, and I think I found one reason.

See, the thing is... fleas are like wrongs done to us. Forgiveness is like killing them. We can't forgive others in our own strength, just like I can't kill fleas in my own strength. And just like I have to surrender the fleas to Jeff, I have to surrender my pain and desire for revenge to God. Just as only Jeff is powerful enough to kill fleas, only God is powerful enough to put forgiveness in me toward someone else. I can't do it. He does it.

And when He does it, it lasts.

Therein lies hope beyond words.

So... God made the fleas around these parts so hardy to teach me about surrender.

Even so, Ogden Nash, though talking about flies instead of fleas, said it best:

God in His wisdom made the fly,
And then forgot to tell us why.