Monday, April 30, 2012

Grace Laced Mondays: Panic, & The Right Words

Sometimes one of the children will hit me with a question that makes me panic a bit. The panic can be for a few different reasons -

1) I know there's no real answer or way that I can fix their problem/hurt/concern and as their mom, I really do want to make it all better. Not being able to makes me feel helpless (which is making me learn to turn to Jesus more and more, because He's not helpless. He IS my Help.)

2) I do know the answer, but it's complicated or difficult or time consuming

3) I'm super tired and it feels like just one more thing.

One day last week - it was one of our homeschool days - EG hit me with a tough one about midday. This was after a busy morning of training and discipline and helping the girls relate to one another properly. I'd gone upstairs to check her progress on a book report project she's doing for school.

Somehow our conversation turned to her habit of nail biting. She expressed her great frustration over having been unable so far to leave her nails alone. When I began to remind her to go to the Lord with the struggle, it unleashed a torrent of words and emotions.

I've prayed and prayed and prayed about it and asked Him for help, she cried angrily, and He's not answering, so I'm not going to ask Him anymore!!

Oh. Insert internal panic here, due to a combination of the above listed Reasons for Panic.

Breathe. Pray. Ask God for His words for her through me. Be patient. She needs this counsel just as much as the other child needed what turned out to be exhausting confrontation an hour ago. Being tired from that does not give me a pass to skip this one's need. Nor am I left without Help, Wisdom, or Strength. Breathe.

My child's mad at God. And for reasons I can understand; reasons I've faced myself. I've been mad at God before when I didn't get a response from the Lord regarding requests or questions I'd laid before Him. What do I say to her?

But then I knew what to say. God put it in my mind and in my mouth.

What if God is delaying His yes so that He'll receive more glory, honey?

What if He will receive more glory by waiting to answer your cries for help?

Could it be that your faith will grow more if you aren't granted your yes immediately?

Perhaps Jesus might reveal Himself to you in more ways, in new ways, because you had to wait longer than you desired.

Then I told her about one of several situations in which I've prayed and cried out to God passionately, faithfully, desperately, only to receive no answer. I've talked here some about CA's 2 years of insomnia. During that time I begged God to change things, to heal CA, to help us understand why she could not stay asleep. My God did not grant my request for her healing, nor did He help me understand why she could not sleep. I went through quite the angry phase over this and I'd say things to Him like How could it be a good thing for me to never sleep? How could this be okay? How can it be alright for me to have short term memory problems due to this? I was pretty mad. Not saying it was right. Just keeping it real.

But. God is so good, patient. Ever the loving Father, He does not leave us to ourselves. Very slowly but surely, God transformed my whiny and demanding heart into one that began to trust Him and His sovereign Insomnia Plan for my life and to thank Him for His goodness in the sleeplessness. And now, guess what? Here I sit, glorifying Him for changing my heart and mind more into Christ's image, which wouldn't have happened without the delay in His answer. Conforming my heart to the image of His Son was more important to the Lord than providing me with a quick and comfortable yes. And He is glorified.

It makes me think about the way that Jesus delayed going to Lazarus when he lay sick and dying. He didn't hurry to Lazarus' side because it wasn't best. In John 11:4, Jesus said that the illness itself was happening so that God would be glorified, and Jesus also. Then in verse 14, Christ tells the disciples that Lazarus has died, and for your sakes, I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. The delay was good. Was best! Incomprehensible for little human hearts and minds, but isn't God's wisdom so much higher than our itty-bitty understanding?! Hard to wrap our hearts around, yes. Give us faith to believe, Lord!

I talked to EG a bit more then about thanksgiving being a choice at those times. I reminded her how much God loves her and warned her not to believe the lie that He is not listening or that He doesn't care.

After this, I prayed with her and for her.

And I've been praying more earnestly for her healing from the nail biting and her growth in Jesus.

She seemed calmed after all this. Thank God for His perfect counsel. I praise Him for His help, for the words to say!

Then I gathered them all up downstairs and set a box of surprise cupcakes in front of them to share. It was a rather unorthodox choice for me (and this right at lunchtime!), but it sure did brighten some faces as we split the cakes up and took turns trying the different kinds.

Ah, grace. Grace is the fact that...

If any of you lacks wisdom, He should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

(photos: in the spring and summer, there's a shaft of evening sunlight that barges happily into my kitchen each day. I welcome it by taking photos of almost everything drenched in sunny brightness. Bok choy remnants, asparagus spears, and butter - everything looks twice as lovely in the sunshine, yes?)

*Oh, and CA? Around 2 years old, her sleep problems resolved. God's yes came right on time.

Grace Laced Mondays


  1. What an awesome reminder. Lovely post, from your words to your photos! :)

  2. Amen and amen! Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed every word (and photo).

  3. Wonderful revelation to share! Thank you!

  4. Yes! I often wish God's will is a straight path from A to B. But in his wisdom and patience, he gives us time to change, to be transformed. He ways are more like a river, winding its way to the ocean. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I didn't know we had so much in common...besides the so-many-kids-of-one-gender thing. :) Both the nail biting issue, and the sleep issue have affected our household in the past few years. And, we've had this very talk and response. I'm so encouraged to know we are walking this together, and that God is at work in this way. I kinda wish we could just sit down face to face and talk about it all! :)