Last week we took our four-year-old twins to a doctor’s appointment for a check-up. Our daughter was excited, but fairly calm. Our son, on the other hand, demonstrated a major case of ants-in-the-pants! He combed over every inch of that examination room, up on the table, down on the floor, inspecting every nook and cranny.
By the time the physician’s assistant arrived, I was feeling quite flustered.
Then, because it was our first appointment at this office, she began to ask a battery of questions that required actual thinking, which is really hard to do when you are also trying to keep your rambunctious boy from destroying the room!
It’s not the first time I’ve felt such frustration with my sweet son.
Homeschooling for pre-K gives birth to those same feelings of frustration and inadequacy because our son is a very easily distracted learner (typical for his age)! Even throughout the day, when I’m trying to get his attention or correct his behavior, he pulls away from me, eager for the lesson to be over so that he can move on to better things.
I know he’s just being a four-year-old, caught up in his own little world of fun and furious activity.
I just didn’t realize how like him I am, until recently.
I wrote several weeks ago about waiting on the Lord in the midst of seasons of trial and about finding that light at the end of the tunnel, the hope we can only find in Him and in His purposes. But I must admit, sisters, that I’ve been so eager for the lesson to be over, to escape the trial and get on with what I want to do, that I’ve been an impatient learner.
I keep jumping up from the Father’s feet, scurrying away from this place of discomfort in an attempt to find my own way to peace and joy and rest, thinking that I’ve learned my lesson.
But He knows, He knows the hard work isn’t finished. He knows the lessons I still need to learn, so He patiently calls to me. And when I don’t listen, He leads me back to this place of physical and emotional trial to resume the lesson because…it’s what is best for me, even if I can’t see it in this moment.
He does this for me because He’s my Heavenly Father, perfectly loving and perfectly knowledgeable.
He loves me too much to let me continue down my own path when He knows there is a better way.
Just as I attempt to reason with and teach my active four-year-old son out of love for him, so my Heavenly Father yearns to teach me.
Of course, Satan would have me believe a host of lies about this place of trial:
It’s too painful.
It’s too difficult.
It’s too long.
I’m all alone.
But this week, the Lord gave me a few verses that perfectly fit my current circumstances:
2 Cor. 4:16-18
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God,
you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36
We throw away our confidence, my work-in-progress friends, when we give ear to the Enemy’s lies.
We throw our confidence when we (and I’m so guilty) wallow in self-pity. We throw away our confidence when we tell ourselves we can endure no longer.
We forget that we serve a loving Savior.
We forget that He promises to never leave nor forsake us.
We forget that our Great High Priest understands and sympathizes with our every pain!
We forget that He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. We forget that our hope and strength can come from Him alone and instead convince ourselves that we must somehow manufacture them within us.
We throw away our confidence and sometimes the weight is so heavy, so, so heavy that we even lose heart.
But the Father, in His goodness, gave me this verse as well:
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying,
yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory
far beyond all comparison,
while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen;
for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
2 Cor. 4:16-18
My physical body is really frustrating me lately. I’m dealing with a lengthy recovery (from the injury at Buttkill Falls), and lately I’ve had other medical issues as well. And I know many, many others who suffer daily even more so than I. But the lesson is hard right now, sisters, so hard that I’m tempted to throw away my confidence almost daily.
But we can’t lose heart or the lesson will not be learned! (And this is one I definitely don’t want to have to repeat!) 🙂
Our bodies may fail us; our children may fail us; our marriages may fail us; our finances may fail us; our churches may fail us; even our friends may fail us….but our inner selves can be renewed day by day if only we quit looking for escape.
We cannot pull away like impatient children who are too wrapped up in self to listen. We must learn to wait for the things that are not seen, the rewards, the promises that we stand upon. We must persevere!
Because even if the only thing we gain as reward from such trials is a closer, sweeter walk with Him, then it’s worth it, isn’t it? Even if we must wait until eternity to receive the reward, it’s worth it, isn’t it? He promises, the glory will be “far beyond all comparison.”
I want it, don’t you?
It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.
Let’s run bravely, sisters, not losing heart, not throwing away our confidence, persevering to the very end because it will be worth it all…
…when we see Jesus.