I stood facing him, bent on concealing my inner annoyance. With what I hoped resembled a smile, I half-heartedly listened as the exterminator divulged a slew of suggestions for alleviating our fruit fly issue.
This ongoing dilemma had us all perplexed and desperate for a solution. So when the bug man left and we were no better off than when he’d arrived, discontent quickly built its home in my heart.
With liquid frustration leaking through my heart seams, I began to ponder. Why am I so bothered by this? Why am I aggravated by his suggestions?
Though his suggestions were not bad, they all required action on my part and to be honest, I was not at all inclined to deal with them. Isn’t that why I pay for pest control? Shouldn’t they be able to spray a little something here, leave a sticky trap there, and completely do away with all these pesky critters?
That’s when it occurred to me. This scenario, though unusual in some respects, didn’t feel completely unfamiliar. Was this my go-to response to other situations in life as well?
When facing difficult circumstances, what am I most apt to do? Embarrassingly, I often try to fix things myself. Then, when I realize I’m in over my head, I call in the expert.
When the matter at hand is an important one, I know to call on God for He is the only One capable of handling such things.
I call on Him, expecting that He’ll immediately step in and eliminate whatever’s bothering me. Maybe not instantaneously, but at least fairly quickly – making my life easier and better.
Because I trust He can do this, I prefer that He go ahead and resolve all the uncomfortable parts while I sit back and enjoy the view. After all, He is the expert.
But like the bug man and my fruit flies, not all situations are best remedied in an instant – even when the expert is perfectly capable of doing so.
Sometimes it’s best to prolong the process – more effort, more time, more lessons learned. And sometimes the troubling situation seems to never fully go away, requiring us to adapt to living with difficulty.
My response to life’s most troubling matters often moves from denial to fear or frustration, and finally, to surrender. It’s amazing how my own stubbornness can cause a situation like the fruit flies to drag on and on when my willingness to follow expert advice can resolve – or at least improve – a trying situation.
Though I still wish the bug man had solved my fruit fly problem, I am reminded when God leaves things as they are, there’s always a purpose behind it. Many times, a walk through difficulty is exactly what’s needed to help us reach greater intimacy with our Creator.
Whatever the case may be, I hope the next time a problem arises, we’ll pause and consider the lessons growing within it. And the next time God places suggestions before us we’d rather not carry out, may we each be willing to step up and do what’s needed to get it done.