“You’re not gonna help!”

Those were the slightly irritated, pre-teen attitude-laden words my daughter spouted the other morning as she wrestled with her braids in attempt to tame them the way I’d done so many times before.  I had been standing beside her applying my makeup when I noticed her frustration. I paused and calmly responded, “You didn’t ask me for help so I didn’t respond.” That’s when I knew what I was attempting to teach my daughter was the exact lesson I needed to learn myself.

Still, I listened to her minor rant.

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Her reply was, “I was asking you…I wasn’t being sarcastic. I was asking you for help.” I noticed even when she uttered those words she continued to wrangle her tresses…her goal was a simple pony tail, but with braids she had a bigger challenge.  It would seem that her hands were just not big enough to handle the task.  As I observed her struggle,  I told her that I would help her, but she needed to wait until I was finished doing what I was doing.

No more than two minutes passed…I just needed to wash and dry my hands, but when I returned from the bathroom, I noted something familiar.  My daughter’s frustration had grown while she waited for my assistance and she hadn’t once stopped gathering, tugging, and sighing.  She kept trying to get it done herself.

I saw myself.

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I saw how I’d been trying to handle things that were entirely too big for my hands and heart to carry.  Yet, I, like my daughter, assumed that because I was struggling that God would automatically respond to my desires because I’m His daughter.

I mean isn’t that what His word says?

To put it plainly…Yes, and no….Yes, indeed God’s word is truth and it does state that He will grant my heart’s desire, but even that wonderful promise is conditional. There’s an inevitable prerequisite:  I must delight myself in Him.

Now last week, the Lord placed on my heart to meditate on Psalm 37 when I was in a particularly messed up mood….I’m so thankful for His comfort.  I admit that while I smiled at this revelation then, I was soon confronted with the reality that I was still trying to do things myself.  I hadn’t taken the time I should have to digest His word as my daughter so eloquently suggested the other day.

Well, after my little encounter with the little pre-teen that could, I decided to revisit that scripture:  Psalm 37

I’ve paid particular attention to that 4th and 5th verses:

Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

Though I’d quoted these verses and used the words delight and commit in one way or another countless times, I realized that morning I had long since forgotten how to do either of those things with regard to God’s will.

Delight 

1. to please greatly
2. to take great pleasure (in)
Commit
 
  1. transfer something to (a state or place)
  2. carry out
  3. pledge or bind

After allowing these verses to simmer in my heart a while, last night, I accepted that there was no amount of “work” I could do to make what I desired  occur if it was not in line with God’s will… so even with regard to a few recent relationship woes, I finally gave it up.

I released every anxious thought, attempt at self-help, and trivial pursuit of relational joy to my Father…I shed tears and was transparent. I needed His help. I no longer tried to fake it as if my heart had been bullet proof…I willingly tore down the walls built by pain brick by brick and revealed that I still longed for that special person’s attention…I admitted that I just didn’t understand how to “get it right” without Divine intervention. I repented for the times I’d compromised and tried to help fulfill the promise He’d already made to me long ago.  Instead of impatience, I offered gratitude for His timing. I acknowledged that my lack of readiness was unfair to him. God’s grace reminded me that He loves him just as much as He loves me…that yes, I’m His daughter, but he too is His son.  With that, I accepted God’s grace, granted the same to my future, and for the first time in months, I rested.