My dad built me a bed. From scratch. He designed it and then set out to make it. It is beautiful. He then reworked a bookshelf and dresser to match the stain. He loaded up a Uhaul and drove 8+ hours, maneuvering the truck through Manhattan, to bring all of the amazing furniture to my tiny apartment.
Then Toby happened.
Toby loved some of the detail work on my dresser when he was first teething. I got over that one pretty quick and resolved that eventually I can sand it down and it will still be gorgeous as ever. Toby, while still mouthy, has left the chewing furniture phase (though he loves shredding paper) and this morning I find that the bottom corners on 2 of the drawers below had some nice shaving. I broke down. I didn’t want this beautiful piece of love and devotion to be ruined and lose value because of its imperfections. I didn’t want him to see it and then be disappointed that I let something happen to a gift he worked so hard on.
It led me to think also of my heavenly Father. Day in and day out he gives us gift after gift after gift. Half the time, I kick it to the curb with the trash, not wanting to deal with it, to have the responsibility that comes with it. The other half of the time, I catch it and relish in it, but I let my guard down and it is stolen away from me or rather, I let it be taken out of my hands. I don’t think my dad would be angry with me if he saw the bed. He would be happy it is being used and loved. Wear-and-tear shows love. Throwing it to the curb shows neglect and dislike. Same goes with gifts and blessings from God. He wants us to use the things he provides.
Dedication and hard work can fix the chewed off parts of my bed and dresser. The same can be said for my faith and the gifts I am given. I might not like the process of fixing myself and my surroundings, but the outcome will give an even greater appreciation and stronghold. There may be some imperfections or scars that result, but each imperfection holds a lasting testimony. Roots and relationships are fastened in deeper soil that will have the ability to affect more than our minds can imagine.
For now, I live looking at the destruction of the bed as a daily reminder of what can happen. In time, it will be fixed, but in the right time. Toby could come back and chomp away and it would have to start again. I need to fix the situation before I can beautify the solution.