Karen Spears Zacharias is a gifted writer and bloggess who challenges my thinking frequently. In one recent blog, she talked about how we can often get frustrated with what we are able to accomplish, or with what we could not achieve. I thought her reflections were worth sharing with you. The background to this blog post described her encounter with a young woman who was walking with groceries through a torrential downpour – getting soaked to the bone. Karen’s first reaction was not to help…but she felt convicted that she was to help this young woman get home. After hearing the woman’s story, Zacharias felt frustrated that she couldn’t do more to help this woman with her many struggles and challenges. She expressed her frustration at not being able to do more – and the young woman replied that what she’d done was enough. Here’s what she had to say about her thoughts after that conversation:
“Of course, I meant more — how could I be of more help?
“Those of us who follow the promptings are often too hard on ourselves. I know my friend Hugh gets frustrated that he can’t do more for his homeless friends. My husband is one of the best people I know and he’s hard on himself. After nearly 30 years of teaching and coaching, he frets that he hasn’t done anything really important in life.
“Veterans who survive the war are hard on themselves. They live their lives in service to others, trying to find a way to apologize for making it through the war that killed their buddies.
“Pastors are hard on themselves. It’s not enough to pray and prepare, now they have to have a brand, be market savvy, have an online presence, if they expect to grow a community. And once they get that community grown? Then what? How can they possibly manage to shepherd so many?
“Moms and dads are hard on themselves. It’s not enough to nurture a child. Now you have to push them to excel in everything because, well, left to be children, they will undoubtedly turn out to be slothful and homeless.
“Life’s hard. It rains on the person walking and the person with a car. We should look each other in the eye more often and acknowledge that sometimes the good we do is enough. For now.”
We cannot solve all the world’s problems. We shouldn’t feel that we have to in order to be pleasing to God. He knows we can’t solve them all – and He doesn’t ask us to. Many of the world’s problems require a God-sized solution that only He can, and will, one day provide. While we shouldn’t be so kicked-back that we don’t try to solve the problems we can, we should realize our limitations as humans, pray for God’s direct intervention to fix what we cannot, and realize that even a cup of cold water is a blessing – and it helps.
Here’s the direct link to Zacharias’ account of her encounter with the young girl: http://www.patheos.com/community/karenspearszacharias/2011/01/18/when-the-good-we-do-is-enough/
PRAYER: Help us be aware of our limitations, but also to know that “With God all things are possible” and that we can do “all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us.” Give us willing hearts, eager to help those in need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>