My most recent bureaucratic nightmare involved securing a piece of paper from the local school district. As a homeschooler, I have fortunately not had to often enter the establishment’s hallowed halls, but this last week made up for years of my not being there.
Tired of Being Youngest (who is, um, our youngest child), in order to attend classes at the local community college, needed two pieces of paper that only the school district could provide. This didn’t appear to be a problem to me because I had filled out the paperwork to secure those papers months ago, and figured I would finish the process in the fall, when school started up.
I really should stop making a habit of thinking like this.
Apparently all of the paperwork I had completed and handed to a bona-fide human being months before really didn’t exist, Tired of Being Youngest didn’t exist, and we certainly weren’t going to get those papers anytime soon. Incidentally, it was my fault. Somehow.
Patience is a virtue, but not one of mine
It is a sad, but true thing to confess that I’m really not particularly good at keeping the snippy out of my voice when the circumstances aren’t right, and these circumstances were decidedly not right. Did I mention that there was a deadline and we were very close to not meeting it?
Tired of Being Youngest was holding up remarkably well, following me with concerned eyes as I made assorted fruitless phone calls, and when I was all done and not speaking to anyone in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, she commented,
“I know you’ll get this taken care of. You always do.”
She’s right, you know, I always do, and it was remarkably nice to not be the only person in the room who recognized this. TBY’s situation was of primary concern to me, and I was grateful that 1) she understood and accepted this and 2) she trusted me to take care of the matter.
Oh, that I could do that myself, with Somebody who is a lot more trustworthy than I am and Who is remarkably able to deal with anything the world of men can throw at me, or Him.
Trust, Hope, Wait, and Rest
But I tend to do more than watch with concerned eyes as life unfolds and circumstances don’t work out according to the way I hope, or think, they should. My primary jobs, which I understand to be to trust, hope, wait, rest, and be patient, are ones I’m not particularly good at, and if the problems continue past a week or so (and believe me, a number of them have well exceeded this time frame), I tend to get snippy, impatient, discouraged, and despairing, in that order — over and over again.
In this, it’s nice to know I’m not alone. The Psalmist phrased it neatly when he said,
“For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers. My heart is blighted and withered like the grass; I forget to eat my food,” (Psalm 102: 3-4)
There are better weight-loss plans
Forgetting to eat your food, which is a great way to lose weight, tends to be a result of stressing out, and quite honestly, I’d rather deal with weight gain. Some days are good ones, and I trust and rest (sort of) and hope, knowing that my life — with all its hurts, concerns, and insecurities — is of concern to God, because I am His precious daughter, and I know how I feel about MY precious daughters.
But it’s hard to keep waiting, and resting, and trusting, because we humans — especially aggressive American humans — like results, and when they don’t come fast enough, we get snippy, impatient, discouraged, and despairing.
This is a great time to remember that it’s not what we see, or what we think, or what we fear, that should be our focus, but what we know. And what we know is this:
- · He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
- · He will not leave us as orphans. (John 14:18)
- · He cares for us and encourages us to throw all our anxieties at His feet. (1 Peter 5:7)
- · Nothing is impossible for Him. (Luke 1:37)
- · He protects us like a mother hen, and if you have never been around a mother hen, don’t get too close. They protect their little ones. (Psalm 91:4)
So does He.