Claire is frustrated.
We’re beginning the process of potty training and that means pants off and on a hundred times. Claire is Miss Independent and can do it herself thankyouverymuch. I let her because I like that scrappy side of her. I like her determination and her belief that she can do anything.
However, she keeps putting both of her legs in one hole. Then she shrieks with frustration.
“Let me help you.” I say.
“NO!” she cries and she sticks her tongue out at me.
She’s mad at me because she can’t get her pants on right. Her way isn’t working but she’s mad at me.
I can almost hear God’s chuckle as I realize that He and I have the same dynamic.
I can do it myself. I will try and fail and try and fail and try and fail. And then I will get mad at HIM for the outcome.
“Let me help you.” He says.
And I dig my heels in and say “NO!”
But my way still doesn’t work. No matter how many times I try and it takes the emptying of my own will to really get it right. To surrender fully and let Him do it.
I think about how people always say, “The Lord helps those who helps themselves.” and how we all kind of stand on that as Biblical truth. But it’s not. It’s something Ben Franklin said, not something Jesus said. And while I think there’s some wisdom in doing our best to live out our potential, to do all we can to be productive…what I find is this: the Lord helps those who stop striving and start surrendering.
His strength is fully exposed in our weakness. When we say, “I can’t.” He offers a hand and says, “But I can.”
We can’t do anything apart from Him. Even our sin is something we can’t fix…not without God.
Claire’s pants lay in a heap on the floor. She’s decided she doesn’t need them and I can’t blame her. When something isn’t working, it isn’t working. She’s moved on from that and has in fact taken her shirt off too and is on to playing her “Ipad phone” (really an ancient ipod that belongs to my niece) and waiting for the timer to beep. Next potty break is coming soon.
I hope I can teach her to surrender to God, that sometimes it’s okay to say, “I can’t.” Those two words are so hard for me.