A very human problem 

As I was replying to a comment on my last blog post, it suddenly hit me what God was doing right now. In His silence. 


The same scenario just played out between myself and my 8 yo daughter the other day. M had three sentences to compose and write out. Keep in mind that M is dyslexic, and the 3 months spent in public school last year shattered her self-confidence.  I knew she could do it. She’s done it before! But, she didn’t think she could. 

How does a good teacher respond to a student that can’t recognize her own abilities? That teacher repeats the assignment, and let’s that student struggle through the barrier their mind has created for them. There is no other way. 

I told M she could do it. M proceeded to fold her arms across her chest and sulk. For one whole hour. Then, she abruptly got up, wrote those 3 sentences in under a minute, and brought me her work. 

See? I told you that you could do it! Now, see how little time that assignment actually took you?”

I am M. 

God has given me the assignment of helping to guide my family through to the next chapter in our lives. And after last year’s experience, my self-confidence is shattered. 

God, like a good Teacher, let’s me know I can do this, and silently forces me to break through this barrier of my own making. There is no other way. When you doubt yourself, only you can tear down the walls that separate you from realizing your own potential. 

As always, God. Well played. 

Sometimes we as Christians spiritualize problems that aren’t actually spiritual in nature. I can have complete faith and trust in God, but if my faith in my ability to do what He asks of me is waning? More faith in God can’t help me. More prayer will not change God’s response (or, lack of it…). More trust in God to use me is useless unless I trust myself enough to see it through. 

A lack of trust in ourselves, when we know God and already are walking in His presence, is just as disabling as a lack of trust in Him. Sometimes, when we are weak, He carries us. Sometimes, when we are weak, He meets us halfway. And sometimes… We need to just put one foot in front of the other, and keep doing so until He says differently. 

God reserves the right to respond to our prayers for guidance as He pleases. We are reponsible for doing the best we can with what He’s given us- and trust that when He’s silent that we’ve heard His silence and understand what it means. 

While we are still human, human lessons are still important for us to learn. Regardless of how little fun we are having while learning them. I wish all lessons in this life were spiritual, because that’s what I’m best at! Unfortunately, humans also have to learn yucky stuff like Statistics, Organic Chemistry, and how to take charge of the life we’ve been given. 

Add this to the list of things faith cannot exempt me from. Bummer:-/

On the bright side, it’s nice to realize I’m not failing at faith. Just life! 

What a relief!


11 thoughts on “A very human problem 

  1. “God, like a good Teacher, let’s me know I can do this, and silently forces me to break through this barrier of my own making.”

    Based on our interactions, I think you know this, but for those reading along…

    God was not silent.

    God spoke to you very clearly through your own interaction with your daughter. He spoke through your circumstances, then He illuminated the connection between your daughter’s response to her situation and your response to yours. He speaks to us all the time.

    I only say this because there’s a push in Christianity to think of God as the silent teacher who doesn’t speak during a test. I don’t believe that to be true. God certainly won’t always give us the answer, but that’s very different from remaining silent.


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      1. I think that the further we come in our faith, the more participation and cooperation He requires of us. He knows what He made us to be, He knows what we are capable of, He insists that we realize the full extent of our personhood in Him. Good Parents interact with their infants far differently that they interact with their teens. Not only that, but the expectations for their infants are far different for their teens! I’m pretty sure I’m in the adolescence of my faith. I’m angry about having to grow up. I know my Father. He knows I’m no longer a spiritual child, and it’s time for me to realize that remaining a mere child is not His will for me. It’s soooo MY will for me. But, I’m not so attached to my own will that I will cling to a ‘Peter Pan’ spirituality.


      2. That’s good stuff there. We have to be careful with development analogies, because while we expect our kids, as they mature, to be increasingly independent, our Father expects us to be increasingly dependent. But I think the mechanisms are going to be very similar. In fact, I think that’s on purpose.

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      3. You are right to add that disclaimer. Analogies are, by definition, not ‘the thing’, but a demonstration of how ‘the thing’ might work.
        I also think western cultural norms of development across the life-span are far removed from the cultural norms understood by the Biblical writers. When we are called children of God, and God is called Father, we’d be wise to step out of our own time and place and understand what the author understood those roles to be. For example, there is no real concept of adolescence outside of our post-industrial age. It is something that came about with simultaneous leaps in human health, longevity and financial resources. Jesus was never a rebellious teen… He crossed over straight from childhood to adulthood. So, what does this mean for us today and how we understand this analogy?


      4. I agree!! My husband and I never dated. We were friends and co-workers for a year and half. And ONLY friends, as we both were already in romantic relationships when we first met. Then those romantic relationships fell apart. And , one day, he asked if by chance I had romantic feelings for him, because he was starting to develop them for me…. And we’ve been the ‘old married couple’ ever since, lol!

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      5. I think our marriage has proven its ability to endure the stress of this life, because of our commitment to Christ (of course), but also because we had built this foundation of mutual respect way before our relationship morphed into the kind of romantic feelings that are necessary to dating. Dating makes to the focus become one of “how does this make me feel?” When it should be, “how can I love this person the way God would have me love them?”


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