When my kids were younger, our least favorite thing about the school year was homework. We could never get through a weekday afternoon without a homework meltdown.
What frustrated me most was when one of the kids asked for help and then argued with me about the advice I gave. It would go something like this…
(Kid) “Mom, why do I keep getting this subtraction problem wrong?”
(Me) “You need to write it out, don’t try to do it in your head.”
(Kid) “I don’t want to write it out!!! It will take too long. My hand is tired. I HATE HOMEWORK!!!!”
(Me) “Well, you asked me why you keep getting the problem wrong. TAKE THE TIME TO WRITE IT OUT AND GET IT RIGHT, OR DO IT IN YOUR HEAD AND GET IT WRONG!
IF YOU FAIL MATH AND CAN’T GO TO COLLEGE AND END UP LIVING IN A CAR, DON’T BLAME ME!!!”
Sound familiar? I was thinking about how much it bothered me when my kids used to do this to me, and then I realized that I do the same thing to my dad. My heavenly Dad, that is! Oh, the times that I have found myself with a problem I couldn’t solve, asked God to help me with it and then argued with Him about what He told me to do. “But, God…that’s too hard, it will take too long, can’t you just fix it for me?” I can only imagine what God is thinking when I tell Him…the Creator of heaven and earth, the Author of my life…that His answer is just not going to work for me. I’m just thankful that He is far more patient and gracious with me than I am with my kids. I’m also thankful that, unlike my kids with their math homework, I have the answer key for my problems—the Bible.
Proverbs 3:5—“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
So, let’s pray for parents, students, and teachers as we head into another school year. And let’s pray for each other as we remember not only to ask for God’s help with our problems, but that we will also be wise enough to accept His answers even when they aren’t exactly what we wanted to hear.