Life is an amazing, tough, learning experience. We learn from others, from our own mistakes and from things that randomly happen to us for a reason. That last sentence might have sounded weird but please stick with me here.
I want to take you way back to Phuket in Thailand.
And no, this is not going to be another story about my dad's Finger again. I have another story entirely. It was something that happened to me because of my own ignorance in part but also because of God's humor and love!
It all started in Germany... We were at a value store one day and we saw interesting specials that attracted our eyes. We were interested not only by some nice products but also by the price tag, only 1€. I think it was the first time we ever saw something in Europe for only 1€. We just had to buy something. My mother was thinking in the line of socks, again... But I had a different idea. I knew I would be going home in a months time so I made the proposition of buying a moisturizing lotion for my face. So that it can be smooth, you know... There are a few reasons why it has to be smooth but I like to go with this one: "My mother likes a boy with a nice and smooth face"! So after my heavy convincing ,my mother agreed, except for one important detail. I wanted the rose scented lotion but my mother thought it to be Unmanly. So I ran back into the store and without even thinking I grabbed the aloe scented one, more manly I presumed. The interesting thing about these bottles of lotion were that everything on it was in German. It didn't bother me though because I was confident in my mother's grade 8 German classes and she inspected the rose scented one and confirmed that it was body lotion. The only problem though is that I took another bottle...
We left that shop with a sense of accomplishment having bought something in Europe for 1€. We flew to Singapore and immediately to Phuket. Totally overwhelmed by the heat and beauty we drank everything in. Meanwhile I very diligently used my German lotion. In my mind my skin got smoother each day. The days went on, a few interesting things happened, my dad lost the top of his left index finger but you know that story allready. The one day I came home from the beach with a mild sun burn. Not really out of the ordinary, considering we were in Phuket, practically on the equator. One of us had to get sun burn one or other time. I wasn't afraid of a little sunburn, especially 'cause I have a nice German lotion to put on.
The days went on and to my surprise my face got redder instead of going back to normal, so I applied more of my lotion... As the days kept flowing by, this little sunburn worked itself into my neck. It began to get more uncomfortable each day. Not only did the ocean salt burn the tears out of me, but it also burned like a raging fire every time there was a bit of perspiration and in Phuket that is 24/7.
It got even worse with each passing day. Thus I added more lotion. Soon we left Phuket and flew to Singapore. Still, I had a burning sensation 24/7 and my face began to fall off, literally! It got so bad it is improper to write about it in a family blog.
Needless to say, my mother thought there was something fishy about the whole thing. So she suggested that I stop using my German lotion, I might be allergic to it or something like that. Sure enough, in only a few days the whole thing was gone. After all this my new layer of skin was white like a dove. I didn't care though because all the burning and face falling was finally over!
So I went home with a great relief, I didn't look like a monster. In Singapore I began to fear that I might scare my friends out of their faith when they see me! The Lord healed me in the last couple of days and I was very, very thankful.
Meanwhile my mother who was still in Singapore wanted smoother legs. She then decided not to let my German lotion go to waste. Needless to say her skin got rougher and tougher, looking worse each day, It was then that my mother put her foot down and decided to check the bottle once more. With some common sense and Grade 8 German she came to a shocking realization...
The great German lotion was actually great shower gel! Ha ha... You might be laughing hysterically at this moment but for me the news was an arrow in my bruised Ego. I then felt like if I was going to take the jump from my ego to my IQ at that moment I would fall to my death. Again, stop laughing...
The amazing thing about it is that I was hurting myself without knowing it. I actually thought I was doing myself a world of good but I didn't see the whole picture. It just proclaimed the fact that God always knows better and what is good for us. We might think that something will be good for us, but lets give that decision to God. You just might have read the label incorrectly!
I also learned the hard way that God keeps a close eye on the proud.
Psa 138:6 Though you are above us all, you care for humble people, and you keep a close watch on everyone who is proud.