I had to put gloves on my boys today when I sent them outside. Easier said than done… Because with 3 and 4 year olds, getting them into gloves is not exactly as easy as simply sliding their little fingers into the holes and sending them on their way. In fact, I would venture to say that getting gloves on them is more akin to trying to fit roller skates on an octopus, upside down, with your eyes closed, after the creature has had an injection of pure adrenaline.
Not exactly easy. Or fast. Or efficient. Or particularly enjoyable.
In fact it's downright challenging.
I know all parents can relate. It takes time, patience, not a small amount of dexterity, and amateur sumo-wrestling moves to get all. those. little. fingers. into. the. right. places. Let’s be honest- it’s exhausting and can be frustrating (depending on the level of excitement to go outside and how that translates into wriggles.) I won’t even mention when, after 5 minutes, they’ve pulled them all off because “it’s making my fingers hurt!” (What is that?? Seriously child!)
How I wish both my boys could just slide their hands into the gloves with the ease that I can! It would be so much easier and faster! But alas, for a while longer, I’m resigned to baby finger wrestling.
I was struck today, while struggling with Jonah’s little digits, how alike this tussle was to reading and understanding God’s word and following His way. There are times and seasons where I feel like there is a lot of grace for discerning what I’m supposed to be learning- for what God is teaching me. It’s obvious. It’s easy, efficient, and effective.
Like slipping my hand into a glove- seamless and effortless.
Other seasons, (like right now!) the wisdom and lessons are not so obvious or easy. In fact, it’s a downright skirmish to figure out what I’m supposed to be learning. Not unlike Jacob wrestling with the angel, there are days where I’m exhausted from the spiritual mats that I’ve been slung down on. It hurts, it bruises even sometimes. It’s a game of patience, of precision (little fingers into little holes), and it often takes time. The exact opposite of the ease of putting my own gloves on.
But just as it makes my job easier if my boys stand still and patiently while I place each finger into the proper place, so also I imagine that it would do me a heckuva lot of good to just be still and let God place the pieces of my life and heart into the proper positions that He wants as well.
This season requires precision work right now!
He is carefully and gently putting pieces where they’re supposed to go. My “helping” Him by trying to anticipate where those locations are… is, in fact, NOT helping. In my eagerness to get ‘outside’ I fear I’m impending and delaying His ability to get my spiritual ‘fingers into my gloves.’
I need to chill out.
I need to be patient.
I need to BACK OFF sometimes.
I need to let my Father put these gloves on me.
One. Finger. At. A. Time.