Before I became a mother, I had only two arms.

Or maybe a better way to put it is: before I became a mother, my two arms performed the functions of—well—two arms. Now, four children later, my arms perform at least as many functions as those of an octopus. They’re about that flexible, too.

For instance, one time, I was on my way to or from somewhere my van. I only had my youngest child, then-four-and-a-half-week-old Jessica, with me at the time. Jessica’s carrier was strapped onto the bench seat behind the space between the driver’s and passenger’s seats.

As I drove down the road, blissfully immersed in my own thoughts (instead of having to talk to anyone) and the silence of the CD player (instead of kids’ music), Jessica began to fuss. Without looking backwards, I reached behind me and into the carrier to replace the pacifier in Jessica’s mouth.

You can imagine how it went. As I was trying to drive and replace the pacifier by feel, Jessica was whipping her head from side to side with her eyes closed, waving her little arms up and down. She was seeking the pacifier, but her arms kept getting in the way of my hand’s bringing the pacifier close. Even had I been able to get close, it would have been difficult to hit the moving target of her mouth. I finally had to gently brace her head still with some of my fingers while the rest of my fingers located her mouth and stuck the pacifier in.

It would have been much easier had Jessica simply remained still and waited for me to insert the pacifier. But of course, she didn’t do that. She was so anxious to get what she wanted that she was seeking it with all her might. The only problem was that in trying to help herself, she actually kept herself from receiving it.

I wonder…how many times have you and I done the same thing with God?

How many times have we screamed desperately for relief, doing everything within our limited power to grasp it, thinking that God was slow in responding, when all the while it was our flailing and thrashing about that prevented us from receiving the relief God was trying to offer?

I know there have been times in my life when I have begged God for an answer but then not really listened for it.

There have been times when God required something from me in order to receive relief, but I didn’t do it.

Then, there have been times when I simply wailed out my anger, frustration, or pain, and never really asked for relief, preferring instead to complain.

I could give other examples. You probably could, too, of times in your own life when you interfered with the relief that God was trying to give.

Why do we do this?

Jessica interfered with my attempts to help her because of her immaturity. At four and a half weeks, she had no way to understand that if she would just sit still, I could help her sooner. Even if she could understand, she probably couldn’t control her raging needs well enough to comply.

Could it be that we, too, are immature sometimes?

Sometimes, we don’t know how to respond so as to receive the help we need most quickly. Sometimes, we know what we should do, but we can’t control our raging emotions well enough to do what we know we should.

Let me suggest something you can do the next time you’re there—“there” being a place where you are desperate for relief and either don’t know how to get it, or can’t calm down enough to comply with what you know you should do.

A simple prayer is enough: “God, help.”

Fortunately, God does not require that our prayers be long and flowery, or articulate. He accepts simple prayers that come from a right heart. And even when circumstances, or emotions, are swirling so fast or strongly around us that we feel overwhelmed, we can at least pray, “God, help.”

You see, what you and I need most is to be in communication with God. Amazingly, God has promised to hear and answer our prayers, and he will do so in any and every circumstance.

So pray. “God, help.” And then do your best to get out of the way.

Isaiah 65:24—Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

You may freely reprint anything on this site for personal use or for sharing with others as long as you don't change anything without my permission, and you include this byline: “By Megan Breedlove –” along with a link back to this website (if you reprint online). Thanks!
WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By :

Free eBook!

Sign up to receive MannaForMoms devotions by email, and you'll receive the free eBook: "30 Days of Prayer for Your Child's Heart" by Megan Breedlove.