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Camping with a Leaking Air Mattress

Camping with a Leaking Air Mattress

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Published by Dan L White

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Published by: Dan L White on Oct 15, 2010
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10/15/2010

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H
 
omeschool
 
H
 
elpers
 
Newsletter 
Issue 165, October 10, 2010From Homeschool HelpersIn association with Pass It On Ministries
By Dan L. White
Subscribe to this free e-newsletter.In the wilderness, things don’t always go so well.God brought Israel out of Egypt and led them through the wilderness forforty years. After they miraculously marched through the Red Sea, threedays later they were out of water and only found a bitter spring. Right afterthat they were wanting food, and soon after that they were totally out of water. The Feast of Tabernacles looks back on that time when Israel was in thewilderness. We camp during that time, and even during our camping, thingsdon’t always go perfectly.We love camping and our camping is not all that austere. When we camp, wehave a fridge, microwave and electric heater, and we camp in a nice, bigtent. I’m sure that Israel had better tents, perhaps with goat hair, but theymissed out on the electric stuff. So we’re not exactly roughing it, butcamping is still camping. It’s not home.When we camp, we sleep on air mattresses. They’re not like those things youfloat on in the summer, but are regular twin size air mattresses that we blowup with an electric pump. The last time we used them, they did not leak. Thistime they did.We pushed the valves on the air mattresses in as tightly as we could, but stillthey leaked. We bought plumbers’ Teflon tape and put that on the threadswhere the valves screwed in, but still they leaked. We felt for air escapingand felt none, yet still the mattresses leaked. We listened carefully for ahissing sound, and the hissing was missing, yet they still leaked.Finally we resolved ourselves to the fact that our mattresses were going toleak no matter what we did. So when we went to bed at night, we blew those
 
mattresses up as tightly as we could get them. In fact, had I plopped downon all that air pressure, I could have bounced outside the tent.I went to sleep on my firm, firm bed, but as the night wore on it got softerand softer. Later on in the week I could almost tell what time it was by howlow I was in my mattress. The mattress was an hourglass and I was the sand,slowly sinking to the bottom.In fact, the first part of me that sank to the bottom was my bottom, possiblybecause that’s the heaviest part. Eventually, by morning, my body rested onthe hard ground, flat in the center of the bed. The air that was still in themattress was forced over to the sides, with the vinyl puffed up over me andall around me, squeezing me into the center. By the time the sun came up,my leaky air mattress was like a taco and I was the meat. There I lay in thecool morning, not really wanting to get up and not comfortable lying there,feeling tiny rocks on the ground under me and a renegade air mattresssqueezing at me from both sides. I was stuck between a rock and a softplace.Israel’s journey through the wilderness is a picture of our trip through life. This present world is not our destination, but only the wilderness that we arepassing through. Sometimes life presents us with leaks in the air mattress. That’s not really a surprise, and is to be expected, because we are not athome. We’re not supposed to be all that comfortable. We’re just camping outand passing through. The advantage of age is experience. The disadvantage of youth is arrogance.Over and over I have seen young people begin their adult lives with a certainpresumption that everything was going to be almost perfect for them. Veryquickly that presumption developed a leak. They ran into challenges thatthey never expected at all and that changed their whole lives. In the realityof life, that is the rule, not the exception. During these leaky times in life, weare to turn to God to see us through.Deuteronomy 8:2-3(2) You shall remember all the way which Yahweh your God has led youthese forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, to prove you,to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep hiscommandments, or not.(3) He humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna,which you didn't know, neither did your fathers know; that he might makeyou know that man does not live by bread only, but by everything thatproceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh does man live.

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