Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It’s too hard: when you see yourself in your 4-year-old

“It’s too hard,” Samuel says whines.

“No it’s not too hard. You can do it. I know you can. Pick up the toys really fast and then we can eat a snack (go to the park, play outside....).”

“Noooooo, it’s too hard for me,” says my son lying across the porch floor in a dramatic flair of exhaustion.

“Samuel it will only take you one minute to pick up the toys. Ready, set, go!”

“Mom-mee, I can’t do it. It’s tooooooo hard!” he declares as he tries to convince everyone around him that the assigned task is much too difficult to complete on his own.

Conversations like these take place many times each week in our household when Samuel is asked to put away books, magnets, cars, or, most recently, a coat he has taken a liking to—his dad’s leather letterman jacket with a ‘94 on the arm that still vaguely smells of the heavenly cologne he wore during his high school years.

Ahem.

This frequent conversation between Samuel and I has an uncomfortable familiarity to it.

Me: “It’s too hard God. What you’re asking me to do. The road you’ve got me on. It’s too hard.”

God: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Me: “Noooooo, it’s too hard.”

God: “Nothing is impossible with me.”

Me: “I can’t dooooooo it.”

God: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

That’s usually when I realize: I just don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do things that seem too hard. And that’s when I say whine to God, “It’s toooooo hard.”

And in a dramatic flair, I pout and cry and whine and beg. I’ve got 32 years on my son and yet one can find me whining on a regular basis using words and sporting an attitude that’s quite similar to that of my 4-year-old son. I look at him lying on the floor, and I am filled with compassion because I see myself in him. And I realize I can respond in the ways God responds to me:

  • God allows me to pout and cry and whine about how I don’t want to do what He’s asking me to do. And when I’m finished, He whispers softly, “Are you all done?” I nod my head, dry my tears and get on with the task before me.
  • God shuts me up with truth from His Word about who HE is and who I am and what He has ALREADY done. And as a result, how it is, in fact, not too hard. This approach is direct and involves a swift kick in the pants approach which I am certainly in need of some days.
  • God comes beside me and helps me each step of the way. He does not abandon me to accomplish the task on my own, but He gives me strength to fulfill it according to His plan, His ways, His timing. He affirms me. He encourages me. He reminds me that my identity is in Him.
Next time Samuel throws himself on the floor, clearly indicating he is overwhelmed and lacking motivation to follow-through, there's a good chance this mama might just get down on her knees and cuddle up right beside him until he's done with the wailing and whining. And, it's even possible I might just join in. Then, together, we can work on the task before us knowing that we're not alone and it's not too hard after all. 

3 comments:

Amazing Life said...

Beautiful!

Langford Family Blog said...

Just what I needed to hear. I love you.

JenniSchem said...

Thank you, Stacy and Sam. That is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. Thank you for letting God speak though you.