It is painful to watch. Each moment is laborious, fraught with much effort and concentration. My young student valiantly attempts to read the text before her, but it is a struggle. My heart breaks for her. She is already in grade three but cannot read well.
Every ounce of my being wants to assist her. It would be easy for me to just read the words for her so she can continue on in the story. She gets the meaning much faster when I read as opposed to her word by word version where she loses the gist of the story before she finishes the sentence.
I fight the effort to intervene and do it for her. What I do instead is offer her encouragement and support. I give her hints on decoding strategies and assistance with review. I cheer her on and let her know I believe in her.
By sheer willpower she makes it through the passage. Her huge smile says much. Her pride in making it through the text herself is immense. She did not do it perfectly and gaining the meaning is still sketchy, but she has made strong first steps to being a reader.
It is easy, both as a teacher and as a parent, to intervene too fast and deprive others of the joy of accomplishment and the satisfaction of learning. We all learn better when we struggle through the process ourselves rather than just being told what to do.
God deals with us in a similar fashion. He could step in every day, every time, and fix things that are broken and troublesome in our lives. But He doesn’t.
Our Heavenly Father is wise and knows that we do not learn all we need to if we have smooth sailing all the time. He never leaves us and never stops encouraging us, but sometimes He has to let us muddle through so we will learn some valuable lessons.
Now, I am the point where I want to tell God – “Okay, I’m smart enough now. You can put things back to normal please.” That does not seem to be happening. As I have stated before, I am personally experiencing a very rough ride at the moment.
I now spend considerable time asking God to change me within my situation. I implore Him to give me a more insightful perspective into my own circumstances and with those He places in my path.
I would love to say all is well and I am fine. But I am not. I still grieve over losses, hurt over challenges, and anger over injustices. I can say, however, that I am making headway. When faced with a difficult situation this past week, I stopped to pray. My words to God focused on asking for a change in my approach and attitude rather than taking the situation away. As if a light dawned, I knew the angle I needed to take to manoeuvre through the challenge rather than circumvent it. I grew through the toughness of this task and building strategies to tackle it.
I am certainly a work in progress, as we all are. I hold onto God’s faithful Word – “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV)
God is there to support, encourage, educate, and love us through anything that happens in life. Trust that He will be there for you – always and forever.