Tag Archives: frustration

July 17; One Of Those Days

Isaiah 40-42

I’ve had a very frustrating day. In fact, I’m sitting here at 5 in the afternoon instead of in the morning when I usually have my time in the Word. Oh, I started the day out with my Bible in front of me, but then it began… Just one irritating thing after another, and I ended up in a very bad mood. It’s been one of those days.

When I finally sat down and opened my Bible this afternoon the first words I read were:

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to (Connie) and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (40:1-2)

Yep. That was just one of the hugs I got. God comforted me. He reminded me of His sweet gift of salvation, more precious than anything. He continued to encourage me with words like:

Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (verses 4-5)

God knows I have a bad day here and there, and He wants me to trust Him. He wanted to remind me I can trust Him.

Oh, there’s more. God loved on me so much today through the words Isaiah intended for the ancient Jews. God showed Himself to me, and assured me He is bigger than any problem big or small that comes my way. He doesn’t turn a blind eye to anything that would steal my joy or cause me pain.

“Be silent before me,” He tells me. “Hope in Me and and let me renew your strength.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

I am ashamed to tell you the sources of my frustration today. They are petty and insignificant in light of what some of you are going through. But I want you to know God loves me enough to want to encourage even me in days like today. I want you to know he wants to do the same for you.

I pray that you will open the pages of God’s love letter to you every day. I’m here to testify that He can and does speak to hearts that are open to hearing from Him. I am so glad that my devotional time was postponed today. I’m not sure I needed those verses as much this morning as I need them this afternoon.

Does God care what kind of day you are having? Oh yes He does!

 

 

 

Numbers 10-11; Is The Lord’s Arm Too Short?

Moses was overwhelmed with the responsibility of leading the nation of Israel. It wasn’t like he ran for office, or even applied for the position. God called, Moses answered (though somewhat reluctantly). Now in the desert with a million whining Jews, he probably wished he’d ignored God’s call.

Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease You that You put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do You tell me to carry them?… If this is how You are going to treat me, put me to death right now… (11:11-15)

Yep. Moses is wound a little tight here.

The problem with the Jews this time was about the manna. Not that they weren’t grateful. They were just sick of it. How many ways can you cook a wafer before you want to gag at the sight of it? They missed eating meat. They wanted meat.

God told Moses He’d give them meat, and plenty of it. Now here’s what happens when your nerves are shot, and you are hanging by a thread: You lash out at the first person who dares speak to you.

In Moses’ case, that person just happened to be God.

Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them? (11:21-22)

Moses is like, Seriously Lord? There aren’t enough animals in our flocks or fish in the sea to feed these people for a month. Are you kidding me? Just kill me now.

I’m often amazed at the relationship Moses had with God. Because, isn’t it true that most of the time when we are at wit’s end, we tend to lash out at the people closest to us, the people we love and trust the most? I love God’s response to Moses’ outburst:

Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.

Yes, dear one, when circumstances are overwhelming, God reveals Himself. When burdens are too heavy to bear, you see how big God’s shoulders are. When problems seem impossible to solve, God provides the solution. When you feel like you can’t go on, God carries you.

How? For myself, it’s when I shut myself away and read His love letter to me. I spend time reading the Bible. I use my concordance and read verses about God’s faithfulness, His character, His provision, love, Presence, and promises. I crawl up into my Father’s lap and whisper in His ear about all the things that have me frustrated, or frightened.  I pray, and I listen. Then I trust Him, even if I can’t see what’s ahead.

So no, Moses. God’s arm isn’t too short. He is able. Sometimes we need to just step back a second and watch what He can do.

May 31

Proverbs 14 & 15

Of my 37 years in public education, 25 of them were spent working with middle school children. There is something about that age group I just love. I had a principal who used to say you could tell the difference between a sixth and an eighth grader by the way they go through the halls. Sixth graders want to run everywhere. By the time they get to be eighth graders not only does their pace slow in the hall, it can be a challenge to keep them awake during a fifty minute class.

I loved being a part of the transition from child to the early teens. Their thinking changes. Their goals change. And attitude? Nuf said.

But as much as I enjoyed middle school kids I can honestly say I never won an argument with one. Proverbs 15:1 reminded me of that this morning. If a child was angry and I spoke to him or her in my anger, neither one of us was heard. And neither one of us was able to get to the bottom of the problem

But over the years I learned that if I stayed calm, we had a better chance of working things out. If I allowed myself to be sucked in to their anger, if I stooped to their level of frustration, it wasn’t pretty.

Have you found that to be true in your own relationships? Have you ever said something in anger you later regretted? Anger is not a sin. But how we express it can be.

What does Proverbs 15:1 say? “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” If you have a screaming match with your child do you think that will calm things down? Do you think they hear you better if you talk louder? If you are sarcastic or demeaning to your child, do you think that’s going to make them want to be better, to please you? Think again.

A gentle answer must be the key or it wouldn’t be written here in Proverbs. My prayer is that we will all learn to be angry and not sin, to keep our mouths closed while we are angry, knowing a harsh word stirs up anger.

Father, I pray for all of us that we will choose to control our tongues no matter how angry we get. Whether we are at the work place, in our home, or sitting on the stands watching our children play baseball. Bring to mind Proverbs 15:1 and help us to remember that a gentle answer turns away wrath. May we be wise, dear Lord, even in our anger.