Aren’t you amazed how the Lord can work through the most mundane, insignificant things?
Just this evening, my eldest son, who is 6, ended up ripping not only the button off his shirt, but part of the shirt too, as his anger toward this task overcame him. I’ve noticed tasks that require fine motor skills really frustrate him and instead of using reason and strategies that we have provided him, he immediately loses all ability to reason and resorts to sheer force. This button situation was not the first time we’ve had to deal with his frustration and melt down, but it definitely was the first time he ripped the shirt along with it. In that moment, I was no better, I lost my cool and immediately resorted to raising my voice and giving out a consequence.
It’s moments like these that I just despise. I hate it when the very sin that I’m frustrated over is the exact same sin I’m dealing with in myself. Of course, this event all had to take place right before bed, so clearly the air had not cooled by the time he was getting tucked in. He was upset about the consequence and I was frustrated with how the whole situation played out. I just wanted a nice, quiet, uneventful bedtime routine of pyjamas, brushing of teeth, story time, prayer, followed by bedtime hugs and kisses. Needless to say, it did not play out how I intended.
My plan before all this went down was to shower, then relax on the couch, but I needed to reframe my mind. So I decided to jog while listening to a sermon to give me some, hopefully, much needed insight and perspective. I must be honest, I wasn’t focused on the sermon as much as I should have been, but rather was replaying the event. My mind went to prayer and I brought my guilt and frustration before the Lord. I simply said, Help! Help rid me of my anger. Help me to better handle these situations? Help me to resolve this conflict with my son.
Alas, God in his faithfulness impressed upon my heart a simple yet profound solution to my plea. I don’t know how it is for you, but when I feel God speak into my life, I often get vivid images. I can often tell they’re from Him because they come as I’m inquiring of Him and it’s something I had not thought of prior to the situation.
So, what was it that the Lord impressed upon me? He revealed to me a piece of felt that had buttons stitched on one side and button holes on the other. You’re probably thinking this is too simple? This can’t possibly come from God. But there was more to it. In the stillness, I felt Him say, You want to rid yourself of anger, then eliminate the source of anger. Instead of doing nothing about the situation that is giving your son great distress, come alongside him and equip him to overcome his anger. In doing so, you eliminate the source of your anger too.
This may sound silly or too far fetched to you, but for me it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I know in my heart, the Lord has placed me in this role of mother to come alongside my children and train them up, not to berate them and cause them to stumble. He has called me to equip my children to overcome their struggles and areas of sin, not to get caught up in sinning too.
So this evening, with a sense of peace and clarity, I have decided to take the time to put together this simple felt activity for my son to practice undoing buttons. Yes, it’s a simple task, but it required stillness to hear the Lord’s advice and obedience to put it into effect. It is so easy to get caught up in the situation and the emotions that come with it, that we forget to take it to the Lord. We forget to quiet ourselves to receive His counsel and wise advice. We allow ourselves to put the blame and onus on our children, yet forget to take onus for our own shortcomings in the heat of the moment.
It takes humility to come before the Lord and ask for help, but He is always there to provide and bless one who has humbled himself before the Lord. He desires for us to grow in righteousness and rid ourselves of sin. He wants to come alongside us and help us put this into effect.
So what are some practical things we can do to stop this cycle of sin? I believe there are four main things we can do:
- Be Aware of our Triggers- Whether you take mental note or jot down the times you are triggered, this can greatly aid you in identifying areas of sin in your life. From there you can take this to the Lord for the second step.
- Seek the Lord’s Counsel- Whenever light is shed on our sin, it is best to take them before the Lord. Confess your sin, ask for forgiveness and seek His counsel. He has the answer to all of our problems, no matter how big or small they may be.
- Listening for His Advice- Often we forget to wait in the stillness and listen for His advice. We must trust that He will answer us and direct our paths, but we must be waiting attentively for Him to speak. Are you in Your Word daily? Are you doing Bible Studies? Are you in community with other Christian believers? Are you making time in your day to pray? These are just some of the ways you will hear Him speak to you.
- Put into Practice His Instruction- When the Lord speaks into your life, it’s best to put into effect what He says right away. Take steps in obedience and trust that the outcome will be a positive one.
I’ve come to realize that my sin is not something to be ashamed of, but rather something to acknowledge and bring before the Lord. It is through our weakness that the Lord works powerfully to bring restoration and salvation. I pray you can find comfort in reading this and knowing you are not alone. We all struggle, we all sin, and we all fall short of God’s glory, but He is so willing and eager to transform us through these situations for His glory.
SHARE: The Lord speaks in mysterious ways. How do you know when He is speaking to you? When is His voice most audible to you?