Yesterday I was babysitting for some friends. I was sitting on the couch coloring with the youngest girl. For the first few minutes she asked me to spell different words. Then she paused for a moment and said, “Now you say a word and I will spell it. Pick easy ones.”
At first I complied with her request to “pick easy ones”. But after a little momentum of successful spell after successful spell, I’d throw in a hard one or two. When she’d stumble I’d help her sound out the words and correct her when necessary. After several hard words in a row she turned to me with slightly deflated enthusiasm and said, “You keep picking hard ones.”
“I know” I responded, “but this is how you learn.”
I threw in a few easy words and then pressed on once again to the hard ones. After a few more hard words she protested again, “You keep picking hard ones that I can’t spell.”
“I know” I responded, “but I am helping you.” And we continued on.
As those words left my lips a smile spread across my face. And it hit me. This was the conversation I’d been having with God for a while now.
These past few months God seems to have been stretching me, challenging me to grow, to leave my comfort zone. “The Lord is asking a lot of you right now,” a dear friend said to me. Indeed. Or at least it feels like “a lot” to me.
I’d say to God with deflated enthusiasm, “You keep picking hard ones.” He has been picking the hard lessons, asking me to tackle the tough issues, asking to heal the deep wounds. And sometimes, like a little child I beg, “Pick easy ones!”
And the Lord responds with a gentle challenge, “I know, but this is how you learn. This is how you learn to trust me, to hear my voice, to rely on me, to surrender, to hope in me alone.”
After a little while longer I say again, “You keep picking hard ones. I can’t do this.” Like a little kid who can’t spell and doesn’t know what letter comes next, sometimes I don’t know what comes next or how to go about the moving forward. I sincerely feel I can’t do it. And I can’t. None of us can. But then there are his words of comfort.
He says, “I know, but I am helping you.”
Indeed he is.
Whatever your struggle today - whatever the task, lesson, hurt, hurdle, valley, mountain, need, or pain you are faced with today – remember God’s words of both challenge and comfort: “This is how you learn. I am helping you.”