As I watched my five year old son try to zip up his jacket, I grew impatient. I had all the kids ready to get into the car, but he was holding up our exit. We were in our third minute of waiting when I asked, “Can I please zip it for you?” He kept his focus on his jacket and replied, “No. I want to do it by myself.”
He was having trouble connecting the jacket zipper on the bottom, and I was tempted to just do that for him and let him zip it the rest of the way. But before I could reach down to help him, I had a flashback of my childhood. I distinctly remembered one morning when I was determined to zip up my own jacket. I saw myself standing in the hallway of my childhood home concentrating solely on that zipper. I don’t remember how long it took me, but I know I was there for a while. I wouldn’t budge until I figured it out!
Many times as Christians, we forget about the struggles we went through to gain the wisdom and skills that God desired for us. We see others who are smack-dab in the middle of a God-ordained teaching season, and we become impatient with them. We see them wrestling in an area that we have found victory, and we ridicule them or make them feel guilty. We become impatient and try to take over their valuable learning lesson. Even worse, we experience a “holier-than-thou” attitude and think that somehow we have “arrived” spiritually.
The truth of the matter is, however, we are all designed uniquely and have different backgrounds/upbringings that God is shaping and molding according to His timeline. Each of us will be held-up in a learning season during anointed moments on our path to heaven. When we extend to others the grace that Christ extends to us, we become holy cheerleaders. Let us remember that we are all fools that God has made wise.
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”
– Proverbs 26.12 (NIV)
“Father, help me to be patient with those around me. Don’t ever let me forget that I am a fool without You. Show me how to offer grace to others and to myself when we are struggling with an area of our lives. Bring any one to mind that I have condemned unjustly because of my lack of mercy and grace, so I can repent of my self-righteous attitude.”