Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Living

Doing It My Way

My husband and I often remark that parenthood was designed as a two-person job for a reason. As individuals, we get caught up in our own thinking and feelings, and it is often necessary for someone outside of ourselves to bring us back into proper alignment and focus. Sometimes, in a fit of frustration as a result our children’s slow movement with some task or request, one of us will remark, “That’s okay! I’ll do it myself!” While it is much harder to recognize the foolishness of that response from ourselves, when we see it play out in front of us, we can and do call it like it is. This snaps the emotional one out of that suffocating stupor so that we do not inadvertently undermine our parenting goals.

As I sit here mentally and spiritually preparing for the work day ahead, I am thinking about all the times I’ve told God, “That’s ok. I’ll do it myself!” All He asks is for our faithful obedience. When I am tired of waiting, annoyed by His timing, or just plain too big for my britches, though, I can sometimes take matters into my own hands, believing in my own power to “get the job done” instead of trusting Him. The Holy Spirit taps on the windowpane of my consciousness screaming, “Warning! Warning!” yet when I am particularly fully of myself, tired, high-strung, or fed up, I can say, “Not today, Jesus! I’m going to do it my way!”

I know I’m not alone, right? As much as I grow, I still find myself, in the words of old folks, picking up my face sometimes. I like trusting in the power of my own hands, ideas, and inclinations. It feels good to use my own ingenuity to solve a problem. And if I’m really honest, trusting in myself does not take nearly as much effort as trusting in anyone else does.

But there is a problem. My solutions are always temporary ones. My cleverness, intelligence, and planning eventually fall short of the permanence and stability that I longed for when I decided to employ my hustle hard mentality. My grit and grind mean absolutely nothing when apart from the will of God. In short, I’m just scheming my way into something (or out of something) God intended to use to humble, test, and elevate me for his glory.

“So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8: 3, NKJV)

We tell ourselves so many lies to justify our disobedience. God tells us to wait, but we lie and tell ourselves, “What He meant was that He is waiting on me.” God tells us no, but we lie to ourselves with a “That’s not His final answer.” God tells us to turn from that thinking or action, but we lie to ourselves, saying, “I still have time to do that before it’s all over.” Then, when we fall flat on our faces, we cry out in anguish, “Why me, Lord?”

Every time I have decided to make Jesus my choice, things have worked out for my good. Every time I have given up my worldly desires, He has provided an increase far beyond my imaginings. Every time I have trusted in Him, no matter how long or fiery the trial, I have emerged stronger on the other side. I thank God for not giving up on me.

Friend, I share this with you today because one of us out there is contemplating doing things their own way. One of us is tired of waiting. One of us is about to jump into something God never wanted for him or her. It is not too late to humble yourself and give God your hand. It is not too late to repent and rededicate yourself to Him. Stop going it alone when God never intended that for His people! Trusting Him is worth it!

Father, thank You for always being faithful, even when I have not been. Thank you for your correction and chastisement. Like all loving fathers, You do this for my good! I pray that You guide me, continuing to soften my heart to faithful submission to Your will. Take from me all that is in opposition to You, all that is seeking to separate me from You. Let your Holy Spirit call it like it is to my soul, admonishing my justification for disobedience and behavior that does not honor You. Let my life bring You glory! Amen

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One thought on “Doing It My Way

  1. parenting is not very easy….nor it should ever be
    Both the parents should take the opportunity of handling every thing which comes face

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