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Why Little Annoyances Are Very Important

What if the trials that the Bible says brings about maturity are something that happen everyday? What if these trials aren't terrorists burning down my home or my child contracting an incurable disease or being shunned by an unbelieving relative? Although, don't get me wrong, these are definitely trials too. What if these trials might also be the simple unsettling things that happen to me everyday?

My five-year-old shouts at me that she's not going to obey, or when she does obey, she subjects me to her wailing.

My one-year-old won't nap.

I have a headache.

I'm dreading planning the upcoming children's birthday parties.

My husband doesn't speak to the children the way I think is best.

I must figure out how to fill in the paperwork for a business license.

The Christmas tree has crisped, which will make un-decorating difficult.

My son doesn't read as well as his friends, and this worries me.

I'm not sure the leftover spaghetti and meatballs will be enough for everyone for dinner tonight.

Someone makes an offhanded comment that I can't stop stewing over.

Certainly these daily instances aren't worth crying about or seeking advice. I usually plow my way through them without mentioning them to the Lord. And they're certainly not my prayer requests in small group. No, prayer request time is for big stuff and these are small things. Right?

But what if they aren't? What if every one of these little instances is a test of my faith? Will Abigail draw her strength from the Lord or will she try to do it herself again?

I know I ought to be loving, patient, kind, good, joyful, peaceful, and self-controlled. Frequently I manage to produce the right actions too, but it takes a toll on me. Afterwards, I keep expecting to be given my just dues: some time to myself, some feelings of peace and happiness, some extra cash to spend, some reciprocated gratitude or kindness, a season of good health, etc.

It's like trying to grow plants in untreated ground. I plant. I water. I wait for growth. Something green usually comes up, but it doesn't last very long and it's only weeds. I don't have the right seed, you see. And I'm resisting the pain of having myself tilled. It hurts to have my weeds killed.

It hurts to realize that when my daughter shouts at me, I was relying on her self-control to feel my own sense of control in the world. It's frightening when my plans to rest are thwarted by my one-year-old's nap schedule, and I find myself looking for another source of strength besides the Lord. It's humiliating when I must admit my headache is from believing the outcomes are all up to me.

It's those daily instances of irritation, fear, and offense that are a call to worship. These are the trials that are seeking to finish the work of salvation in us. There can be no love, joy, or peace until the ground is tilled and the weeds pulled up. There can be no trust in the Lord until we confess we haven't been trusting in Him at all.

Comments


Love, love, love this article, Abby. The old saying, "The devil is in the details" while true enough when we fail to pay attention to the details is only one side of the coin. I constantly rejoice in the overwhelming presence of how our God is actually and wonderfully in the details of our lives.

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