God’s Sovereignty and Mattresses

"Remember what I accomplished in antiquity!
Truly I am God, I have no peer;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
who announces the end from the beginning
and reveals beforehand what has not yet occurred,
who says, ‘My plan will be realized,
I will accomplish what I desire."
Isaiah 46:9-10 (NET Bible)

I chuckle at the mattress commercials that say “Replace in eight.” How about “Just broken in, in ten” or “A taste of heaven at eleven.” However we decided to go with “Worn plenty in twenty” and replace our two-decades-old mattress.

Things did not go as planned. The salesperson ordered the wrong mattress. Before we realized it was the wrong one, we had thrown out the old one. Now we had a new mattress we could not sleep on, both because it was uncomfortable and because we were returning it. Plus our old mattress lay somewhere in the city dump.

To their credit, the sales person readily admitted their mistake, however correcting it has proven nearly impossible. Our first attempt at getting a replacement failed—one week later, despite multiple assurances the mattress would be delivered, we discovered it had not even been produced yet. After a combined total of about 8 visits to the store this week by either my husband or myself, working with five different people face-to-face and more over the phone, and pulling a two and a quarter hour sit-in to get help from a manager. We have a new receipt for the correct Serta and have been given assurances that the mattress will be ready for delivery in another 6 days—nearly 2 weeks without a mattress, if it is delivered by the new date.

I have had a couple of sleepless nights. I have slept on the couch, in a recliner, on a hide-a-bed and now on one of our children’s old smaller mattresses that we have moved onto our box springs and topped with foam.

In the middle of this process I feel powerless. There is not one thing I can do to take care of or control the problem.

What a reality check!

I spend a great deal of time fighting to maintain control or at least the illusion of control, yet my fragile control is brought crashing down by a mattress salesperson. Cancer cells in a friend or family member or in our own body, crime, relationship problems, election results or something as trivial as a mattress show me and all of us that control is an illusion.

Lord, rescue me from my petty grasping for control. Give me the grace and clarity of thought to acknowledge that you are sovereign and that my comfort is not your primary goal. Thank you that you are more dependable than a mattress store, always accomplishing what you desire. And Lord, it would be wonderful if it would be your good pleasure to provide our mattress next week. If not, grant me grace and patience—but, right now, I’d prefer the mattress. Amen.

Update: We are thankful to have our mattress now!

Beth Barron and her husband have worked cross-culturally for decades, first in the Middle East and now in the U.S. She teaches English to refugees and uses her writing skills to advocate for them. Beth enjoys writing, biking, vegetable gardening and connecting heart to heart with other women. She is involved in her church's External Focus ministry. She and her husband have three adult children, two daughters-in-love and three grandsons. Beth graduated from Rice University in Houston, attended Dallas Theological Seminary and is committed to life-long learning.