The Kingdom-Driven Family

Building a Home That Serves Christ and His Kingdom

It would be a wonderful reality to never experience frustration. Think of it.  Everything you endeavor to do turns out well, people run on schedule, things don’t break, etc. What exactly is frustration?

To me it is similar to the feeling of walking into a very strong wind, or a jar that refuses to open, or being unable to express to yourself what is bothering you.  Another way of saying it is that we experience resistance.

A good procedure when experiencing frustration is to step back and identify who or what is stopping your forward progress in light of what you are attempting to do. Sometimes the correct conclusion is that your “endeavor” is faulty or problematic in some way.  In this case, the resistance proves beneficial.

Another step is to identify if your stated goal is within your jurisdiction and ability to achieve. Can you really do anything about the war between Ukraine and Russia? Are you in a position single-handedly to stop the corruption in government schools?  Quite possibly the frustration is a result of attempting to take too big a chunk of a task that goes beyond you.  A more realistic approach is to see what is within your purview and how to move in the correct direction, but on a smaller scale.

A subsequent step would be to determine if you are bothered by something entirely different than what you think is at issue. Has someone disappointed you? Are you upset with a lack of achievement in your own life that makes you bitter? Possibly, you need a better diagnosis of the problem, keeping in mind that often our own sinfulness brings about frustration.  You won’t fix the little things in other’s lives until you deal with the big ones in your own.

Prayer is the engine that will fuel all of these aforementioned steps. And in the process of communicating with God, along with the communication we receive back from Him with daily Bible reading, there can be relief in just being heard. Then the foundational doctrines of our faith (God’s sovereignty, His victory, His providential care) will “kick in” and help us patiently endure whatever is going on in the present.

Lastly, one thing I do in the midst of all these considerations is to go and tackle a project that has remained on the to-do list longer than it should. Whether it is cleaning out a drawer, closet, garage, or paperwork, as I focus on that particular task and see success, the frustration either is mitigated or disappears. And if nothing else, something has been removed from my to-do list.

What if frustration is one of the tools our Savior uses to draw us closer to Him and train ourselves to not rely on our own strength, but to rely on His?  I guess you could call that a win-win.

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