When You Fall Apart
“Can I sit with you today?” my niece Zoe looked up at me with sparkling eyes.
“Um hmm, but I play the piano for this service. You’ll have to sit by yourself during the singing time.”
“That’s ok,” she replied. “I’ll go find us a spot.” I watched her dark, glossy head as she moved up to my usual spot near the front of the auditorium and reserved it for us.
I felt somebody’s arms fling around my waist and looked down at my other niece. “Want to sit with us?” I asked Amanda.
She grinned up at me and nodded her head.
So a short time later, I sat snugged in between my two nieces. Amanda is almost ten now – old enough to listen to the sermon her parents say, so she either has to take notes or just sit and listen. Zoe is still seven so, much to my distraction, gets the luxury of drawing. When she finished her first picture, she leaned up to my ear and whispered, “It’s a shoelace.” Her bubble figure had his hands wrapped around his head, a giant something stretching out from his shoe, and he was exclaiming, “O my! Agen!”
“Oh my! Again!” I quickly translated in my head. Oh, he’s upset because his shoe came untied. LOL! Kids think the littlest things are tragedies.
That’s when a twinge of guilt hit me. Sometimes adults think the littlest things are tragedies too.
In the scope of hardship, the small thing is the one that often tips you over the edge. For me, it wasn’t the endless months of pain in my tooth, the root canal, the four month sinus infection that followed, the broken crown, the death of my horse, another tooth that had inexplicably chosen this point in time to start throbbing that caused me to lose perspective earlier that afternoon, but the fact that I’d exceeded my cell phone minutes and now owed an additional $40.
Yes, I got super grumpy over my cell phone bill. I felt like my entire world was crashing in on me. Funny, because the phone was the one thing I could have controlled in the whole mess, and maybe that was why it made me so mad. I couldn’t blame anybody but myself.
All of the stuff leading up to the cell phone bill had worn me down, chipping away at my resolve to stay sane, be a good example, and have a Christ like attitude. Today, all of that flew out the window, and I looked skyward and said, Could you please give me a break here? I’m exhausted; I’m discouraged; I’m angry; I’m so, so tired! And then I stomped around the house and tried to think of someone else to blame for why I had exceeded the limit.
My problem: I thought I could be the perfect Christian on my own. I would be the good example. I would show people what a wonderful person I was by taking it all in stride, but seldom did I remember to ask for God’s assistance. As I pondered the situation, I realized that even Jesus, in the Lord’s Prayer, requested God’s help to deal with testing. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…” Matthew 6:13a Giving us an example to follow, He prayed for help during the difficult times that must surely come into each life.
God does not promise us a life free from pain, fear, and trials; but He does promise to never leave us or forsake us. Even when we deserve to be abandoned, He is still there “So that we can boldly say, the Lord is my helper…” Hebrews 13:5-6