Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite…


Life has never been short on adventure for me.  Much of it has not been pretty, but God has blessed me to find the lesson in almost everything.

This past summer, I had another one of those fascinating encounters.  Desperate to find a new apartment, I combed the websites for something immediate. I felt so fortunate to find the owner of a two-flat that was still excited to rent to me, even after I explained that I was giving 30 day’s notice to my former job. That should have been a warning

As it turned out, not only was the apartment desperately in need of repairs, so was the landlord.  He mentioned to someone, in what I can only assume he thought was out of my earshot, that he had lost HIS job because he popped positive on a drug test. My neighbor across the hall explained to me (after he would not respond to my complaints about the water being off) that she had to help him pay the water bill, because he had only just gotten out of jail from some trumped up charges brought up by his girlfriend. At this point, I’m unemployed and don’t qualify for unemployment, so I’m believing God for every penny. The entire situation had deteriorated to ridiculous extremes, the details of which I will not bore (or disgust) you with.

But the kicker didn’t get to me until, after months of searching, I found a job through a temp agency.  I was still going through the training and security clearances, when it was announced that the landlord had lost his personal home and had moved into the basement of the two-flat. You would have thought THAT would be rock bottom. But, no.

Rock bottom came when, after about three weeks of him living in the basement and a week of random bug bites from what I thought was a mosquito infestation, the landlord informs us all that the exterminator will be in to spray for bed bugs.  Let the freak-out begin!

I’ve dealt with a whole lot of strangeness in my life, but this was brand new.  And, like every other obstacle in my life, when I don’t understand what is going on, I go headlong into prayer and research.

So…this is what I learned this summer about bed bugs:

*They are attracted to the bed, particularly because there is plenty of padding, loosely layered fabric covered in flesh particles there.

*They come out quickly in darkness

*They also like the bed for the warmth and moisture…with a particular attraction to breath and exposed skin (which is why I had bites on my arms and hands, because I sleep with my hands close to my face)

*They are able to replicate without mating

*They can survive for up to six months after drawing blood once

*Dry heat and sodium products will kill them more effectively than almost any toxic extermination products and will keep their eggs from producing as well.

That was cold comfort, since I still had to find a way to get out of that situation.  BUT GOD.  

As it turns out, not only did I have the mildest infestation of all the apartments in the building (because my apartment was the highest and farthest from the basement), I also had been given some good information on someplace else to live, God gave me resources to get me out of that mess QUICKLY.  I was able to treat most of my clothes and escape with my bed (treated and sealed) along with most of my kitchen appliances and office supplies.  Everything else was easily left behind.  Once you’ve lost everything a few times, you don’t take any of that stuff seriously, anyway.

FAST FORWARD TO THIS MORNING…

So, I’m leaving for work and the strangest thing crossed my mind.  I heard the phrase, “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

“Well, that’s not funny anymore,” I thought to myself.

Then, it occurred to me to ponder…what, exactly, did I learn from my bedbug experience? And how does that translate to the rest of my life?

Bedbugs began to look like the ‘drama junkies’ of my life.

*They are attracted to the places of rest (like churches and people who are peaceful, peace loving, and servant-hearted), particularly because there is plenty of ‘extra people’ (who want those peaceful people to take care of the things they don’t want to do), where the loosely layered, lightly attached people, functioning in their flesh, tend to hang out.

*They come out quickly in darkness when the challenges of life are overtaking you.

*They also like the bed for the warmth (love) and moisture (the anointing and the Holy Spirit)…with a particular attraction to breath (inspiration) and exposed skin (the transparency and vulnerability that comes from being in a place of rest and vision).

*They are able to replicate without mating (they make a mess and stir up messy people without any real help).

*They can survive for up to six months after drawing blood once (THAT is self explanatory). 

*Dry heat (light) and sodium (salt) products will kill them more effectively than almost any toxic (fighting, calling them out, drawing unnecessary attention to them) extermination products and will keep their eggs (replicating in the congregation) from producing as well.

Your best defense from the drama junkies in life, with ‘bedbugs’, is to identify them right away and remove anything that came in contact with them.  Take whatever it is, shake it out thoroughly, expose it to extreme amounts of light and heat while treating it with salt-based products. To me, that translates to staying in the presence of God, being diligent to encourage without enabling, and cultivating the fire of the Holy Ghost in your life and the lives of those around you. Be more interested in the things of God that the loose fitting, easily entrapping things of this world.  

So, while you’re resting in the Lord, all warm and safe and full of God-given vision and purpose, the best advice I have ever heard for anyone dealing with a ‘bedbug’ situation came to me from a Dos Equis commercial.  Stay thirsty, my friends.

 

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