As a wife and mother, like many of you I am not immune to my little fits. I have them less these days but there was a time when they were more of a frequent occurrence. Just keeping it real! Sometimes those fits are just fits of stubbornness where I think I can do some things better than anyone else on the planet (like loading the dishwasher…I mean no one does that right but me!). In the course of doing things myself I would get frustrated. Why? Because I had to do everything myself! Makes sense right? Well it did to me at the time!
One day I was cleaning the house as only I could do and I was getting agitated because it seemed like no one else ever picked up a thing! I was home alone with the dog who loved to bark. Well, he started barking and some unknown irritant and I started to yell. I yelled at the dog and said “Would you stop barking!!?? I am getting so tired of hearing you bark!! All you do is bark and bark and bark and it gets tiring listening to you!!!”
As clear as I have ever heard God speak to me He said
“Now you know how I feel.”
Wow! I realized all I was doing was barking and barking and barking. I was yelling (even though it was only to myself and the dog) and complaining and griping and here was this realization that God gets to listen to me complain about the very things I set myself up for!! And all I needed to do was ask for help! I needed to ask my family to help more and LET them help more, and I needed to ask God to help me through prayer and giving my burdens over to Him.
I have had seven kids. Yes, seven kids. And at one time or another they were all toddlers and we all know how toddlers can be stubborn little people. And I would often watch trying to do a puzzle or trying to fit a toy together or just trying to do something in general and growing increasingly frustrated with the task. They would sit there for what seemed like an eternity struggling with it and growing increasingly cranky as well!
I would sit there and watch them, waiting for them to ask me for help, not wanting to infringe upon a task that they seemed determined to accomplish.
After all, they could do it better than anyone else!
At times, if they grew too frustrated, I would ask if they want me to help or jump in and try to give them a hand and they would usually, simply yell at me and tell me they could do it. So I would sit and watch..and wait. See, I knew they would come to me eventually if they couldn’t solve the problem themselves and many times I knew because of their age and the complexity of what they were trying to do, that they needed the help. But I knew they needed to go through the struggle before they realized it. The struggle is sometimes necessary.
Sometimes we have to learn that some things we just cannot do in our own strength. We need help. That is not always an easy thing to accept when you feel like you and you alone can do it all!
I imagine God is like that as well. So many times I will sit and struggle with a problem.
I am sure God watches me thinking,
“You know, I can help you with that if you just ask me to.”
There are so many things in life where simply giving it over or praying for help would have eliminated SO much frustration and hurt. And yet, I chose to keep struggling with it, either out of stubbornness or just simply ignorance on my part. I am so like that two or three year old at times, yelling, screaming, clawing my face…while my Father sits nearby saying “I am here when you want my help.” Sometimes when the problem is getting too much for me to bear, God will step in and take it over regardless. But most times, He lets me work through it so that I can FINALLY realize, I need Him.
Our struggles teach us many things. Sometimes we need to go through it to change how we react (like Joyce Meyer illustrates in many of her teachings, it is a test and we don’t fail it, we just have to keep taking it over and over again until we get it right!) Sometimes we need to go through it in order for God to give us something better, in those instances when we keep holding on to something that is wrong for us. And sometimes we need to go through it for us to realize we just simply need help. And it is a great thing to realize that we have a Father sitting nearby who is just a shout away when we need Him to help. However, I am also grateful for the fact that He lets me learn the lessons as well…even when it is the hard way! I am happy to say I have finally stopped barking and started giving things over. Although I still load the dishwasher…no one does it like me!
Diane is a wife and mother living in South Florida. She has been actively involved in various ministries for over 15 years. She has dreamed of being a writer since she was old enough to read, and is now living that dream by writing her first novel. In addition to writing, Diane works for a Fortune 500 company and has owned several businesses. She is also a successful public speaker and personal coach.