Updated: Oct 2, 2020
I am the mom of two young boys. Asher is 10 and Elijah is 4. I do my best to help guide them as they develop into the people God designed them to be, but honestly, sometimes I feel like God uses them way more to teach ME.
As many of you probably know first hand, this school year is completely unique. Many kids have returned to school in a hybrid situation, while other households, like mine, find themselves completely virtual...at least for the time being. I don't know about you, but there is a reason I am not a teacher. It is not how I'm cut out.
Regardless, I've been thrust into a job that I never applied for. I spend many days feeling helplessly inadequate and in over my head. I often mentally berate myself for not doing a better job juggling all the balls and for feeling like such a red-hot mess. After all, I ASKED God to give me patience and to shape me into the person He created me to be. And I think that's exactly what He's doing. If I want to build these muscles, they have to meet some resistance, right?
It was in this state of mind that I found myself watching my 5th grader struggling a bit with some new math concepts. I'm sitting there explaining material to him that seems completely useless to me--wondering to myself why a ten-year-old needs to know such things in the first place. The Holy Spirit whispered to my heart, "He needs to know because what will be required of him in the future hinges on his mastery of the skills he is learning now. You can't skip steps."
In that moment, it was like an arrow found its bullseye. Isn't it just like human nature to want to skip all the steps that don't make sense, that cause us pain, that brings us discomfort?
I pray for patience yet balk at the circumstance that affords me the chance to develop it. I pray to be gracious, yet I chafe at every encounter with a difficult person. I want God to send me as He will until there is a conflict with my own agenda.
When did deciding how best to 'grow myself' become a job I am qualified to undertake? Doesn't the One who designed and created me know best how to prune and nurture the growth He has in mind?
I can't skip steps. What God is preparing in my future, depends on me learning the lessons and passing the tests of the present.
Who doesn't likes shortcuts? I sure do! Haven't we all been guilty of wondering why God doesn't opt to intervene in circumstances that make us squirm?
I'll admit, on days that school work drags on endlessly, I am tempted to take over for Asher and speed the process along. But if I do, I am effectively robbing him of the skills and acumen he needs to thrive--not only at what he is now learning but of all the things that will be built on this foundation in the future.
We've all heard it. "Practice makes perfect." It's true in 5th-grade math and it's true in our journey of faith.
Stamina is Developed in The Stretching.
Relationship is Nurtured In Reliance. We
Momentum is Gained By Persistence
We Cannot Skip Steps
Small adjustments, when applied consistently, add up to a big change in the long run. We cannot afford to underestimate the value of our investment today, in the benefits we will reap in all of our tomorrows.
Fortunately for you and I, we have the benefit of a far more patient and capable teacher than ourselves. God Walks Each Step With Us (Hebrews 13:5) He reveals new facets of His character and faithfulness at every bend and crossroad. Without fail, He will be there to steady us when we stumble and to pick us up when we flat-out fall. Every obstacle that we face is rich with opportunity for us to gain what we've always longed for...even if it's not the gift wrap we had in mind.
Angie Reynold is a stay at home mom of two amazing little boys and a prolific writer. She has learned the art of choosing the better part. Her life and writing are an encouragement to many.