Strong-Willed

“No, Mommy! I can do it. I want to do it my way,” my defiant son said to me, followed with: “I can’t wait to grow up, so that no one can tell me what to do!” In some form or another, I heard similar statements from him over the years. I had a strong-willed child, a really strong-willed child.

Where did this child get this attitude from? Well, actually, he got quite a bit of it from me. I too am a strong-willed person. My mind floats back to a discussion that I had with my father many years ago, when we were discussing me as a child. I had two brothers, one was five years older than me, and the other was three years older than me. Like most children, my brothers used to tease me and boss me around. My Dad was reiterating, with much animation and amusement in his voice, this one particular instance: how I stood there with my hands on my little hips, eyes flaring, head tossed back in defiance and, I was in no uncertain terms telling my brothers off. There was no way I was going to take them telling me what to do! He told me it was if steam was rising right off the top of my head, and it was all that he could do to stifle a laugh.

I saw, and reacted to, things from my current perspective, and so did my son. He had no idea that the things I was trying to teach him were for his best, to help him function, to help him learn, to help him grow. And, as I think back, I realize that he spent a great deal of time being frustrated, he felt that he had no control, and he really wanted to be in control. That frustration caused us to butt heads on many, many occasions, just as I butted heads many times with my brothers.

Life has a way of teaching us lessons, some we learn, some we don’t. Perhaps we corral our tempers so that we don’t exhibit tantrums to the extent we did when we were young. Perhaps we don’t. It is extremely rare for me to fly off into a tirade that I once exhibited as a child. But, I still have the need for control. Being passive is exceptionally difficult for one who has a strong will. We often are the kind of people who take matters into our own hands to get the resolution that we want in the timing that we want.

Waiting on God’s timing for something in my life is hard, extremely hard! However, I do know that when I rush ahead, I often complicate the situation and make it even more difficult for God to achieve His will for me. My view is myopic, and like a child, I tend to see things in the light of here and now, in the tangible world. I have been, and sometimes continue to be, oblivious to what’s going on in the realm of the spiritual world. Often, it’s only later, much later, that I can see God’s hand in orchestrating the events and situations in my life, moving me to where He wants me to be.

As I’ve matured, I recognized that His plan is better than mine. When I want to get worked up over a situation, I think back over the times that He’s rescued me, and how He’s brought about great blessings to me, often through some rather dark times. He’s faithful to me, and I can trust Him.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;” Psalm 37:7a, ESV


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