We are fans of freecycle. What is freecycle, and how does it work? You give stuff away you don’t want and pick up stuff other people do not want – for free. Our son’s bed is broken and we are planning to move house, so did not want to buy a bed that might not fit in the new home. Solution? Source a freecycle bed.

What you need to know is that my wife has a special hot-line to God. Just about anything she prays for she gets (for a fee she will pray for whatever you want – just kidding).  She prayed, searched freecycle and turned up a fabulous Lewis’ sofabed only walking distance from our house. We popped over on Monday night to pick it up, but then the adventure began.

First – it would not fit in the car. No arrangement of bungees, seats or doors worked. Second – it was too heavy to carry. Third – the weather was freezing! I zipped home to get a piano mover from the shed. Of course it was at the far back corner of the shed buried under boxes, compost and rat poison.

I drove the car home with the cushions in the back. My son and wife balanced the sofa on its end on the piano mover and wheeled it up the street. The squeaky wheels caused many a curtain to twitch. By the time we got the sofabed into the house I was grumpy. Very grumpy.

What is it that makes us grumpy when we have so many free and wonderful things to enjoy and be grateful for? Let’s take a short lesson from the 12 men Moses sent into Canaan and the reaction of the Israelites. What was the land like? “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.” (Numbers 13:27 NIV). A beautiful and fruitful land. But ….

  1. Focus on Problems. Some of the spies were more focussed on the problems than the promises. There might be truth in the fact that “they are stronger than we are.” (Numbers 13:31 NIV), but they even exaggerate the matter, “The land we explored devours those living in it.” (Numbers 13:32 NIV). It hadn’t devoured them had it? They got back safe and sound! When we focus on the problems we fear things that will not come to pass.
  2. Forget God’s Goodness. The response of the Israelites is to raise the fear level, and thereby to forget God’s goodness. They begin to see God as malevolent instead of loving. God’s nature gets redefined by their fear, “Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?” (Numbers 14:3 NIV). When we start complaining about the hand God has dealt us we are forgetting how much worse off we were in the past.
Have you got your eyes fixed on the problems or the prize? Let’s take a leaf out of Jesus’ book, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross,” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV11-GK). Have you forgotten where you have come from? Facing our fears with God is far preferable to running from them. We will only find new fears wherever we run to anyway – and we’ll miss out on the promises too. A double tragedy.
Sofa-induced grumpiness has been repented of. It’s red, comfy and …..free!
Malcolm Cox