Frustration. It’s what causes us to lose patience with the slothfully slow cashier. The government official who leaves us on hold for what seems an eternity. The waitress who forgets to refill our glass even after two reminders. The co-worker who doesn’t carry her load.
It’s what causes us to feel aggravated over a delayed delivery, an unreturned call, or an internet service that seldom works as it should.
Oh friend, so many things cause us to become frustrated.
I sometimes think, if everyone would just do what they’re supposed to do – and do it well – everything would be okay. But that’s not the world we live in.
Perfection is not attainable in this life – at least not in all areas, at all times. Mistakes will happen. Balls will be dropped. Work will not get done. There will always be someone or something to usher frustration into our lives. And, when it’s not coming from others, we’re quick to bring it on ourselves.
Have you ever worked hard to prepare dinner only to burn it at the last minute? Or put clothes in the wash and forget to take them out, causing them to sour and need another washing? Recently, I washed the same load three times. Yes, three times.
What about gassing up your car? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve driven past several gas stations on my way home only to have my gas light come on as I pulled into the driveway.
And then there’s the issue of weight loss. I’ll lose weight only to allow one small indulgence throw me off track for months.
Yes, these things frustrate me.
What about you, friend? What causes you to feel defeated? Disappointed? Discouraged? Downright frustrated?
How do we move past these feelings before they harm our relationships, undo whatever good we’ve done, and leave us with health issues we’d rather not have?
While I can’t speak for everyone, I’ve found that when I take the time to pause, ponder and pray, it changes everything. I wonder if it might help you as well.
When we feel frustration building, let’s issue ourselves a pause. Before speaking. Before rolling our eyes or allowing irritated sighs to slip out.
When we take time to pause, we’re in a better position to ponder the situation. To consider who or what it is that’s causing us to feel frustrated. By doing so, we’ve shifted the focus off ourselves and onto the person or situation standing before us.
Once our perspective shifts, we’re able to remember who we are and why we’re here. Not to cause dissent, but to point others to Jesus every chance we get. Could this be one of those opportunities? And if so, what will we do with it?
And that brings me to the last and most important component of all — we must pray.
Prayer connects us to God in a way that pausing and pondering, on their own, cannot.
Though this concept sounds simple, it is not easy to master. We’ll never get it completely right. But, if we become intentional in our trying, we will get it right some of the time. If we keep at it, we’ll begin to get it right more and more. Finally, we’ll find ourselves pausing, pondering and praying more often than not. And in doing so, we’ll begin the process of ushering frustration out of our lives.
Pause. Ponder. Pray.
Let’s see what a difference it makes.
Lord, give us courage to stand for what is right, but in a manner reflective of Your love. Help us to love as You love. Enable us to extend grace as we should. May our words – and our actions – point others to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.