Doing It Myself

by Shelly Bruno

As my son is fully enmeshed in a somewhat stubborn toddler phase, he’s started telling me he wants to “do it myself.” This could be in regard to climbing into the car, cutting with scissors, walking in a parking lot, or crossing the street. Some of these tasks (it is easy to see) would be much better carried out with the help of an authority figure, whether because of safety, experience, timeliness, or just plain common sense.

There is a saying: “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Well, you only have to look to my son’s mother to see a fine example of wanting to do it myself. Tasks (it is easy to see) that would be much better carried out with the help of an authority figure.

I certainly like to be self-sufficient and do things for myself. Sometimes that has a positive result and other times, a negative outcome. Recently, after years of struggling with a problem, I finally handed the problem over to God. Not because I had great faith, or trust, or just knew that God would take care of it, but simply because I had run out of my own options: I just didn’t know what else I could do.

A strange thing happened–within a few hours of asking God for help, I saw a positive result. I was dumbfounded. A problem I had been trying to fix on my own, and had been so unsuccessful with for years, was immediately being addressed by God. After the sheer exhilaration of seeing results, I then became frustrated. Why had I struggled so long, not taking advantage of the ultimate power and authority of the universe? Was my problem so tremendous that God couldn’t handle it? Quite the contrary. The only thing that was tremendous was my stubbornness in not asking for help.

Since this experience I have been asking God for help with many different issues—even things I had previously thought too mundane or trivial for His attention. It’s very encouraging to see how God can and does assist in so many aspects of my life.

As I continue to work with my son during this toddler phase, I will teach him to ask for and accept help. It is reassuring to know that the phase will eventually pass. More importantly though, I hope my phase will pass, and I will learn to do what I should have all along—ask God for help.

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