Sunday, March 30, 2008

the kind of help God gives

At least, the kind of help He gave me.

One day (not last week, I don't think, but the week before - and yes, this is the first chance I've had to write about it) recently, I was sitting on the couch, feeding one baby with one arm and hand and holding the other in the other arm, which was hard enough by itself, when I heard my toddlers begin to go after each other in the other room. My hands were, literally, full. I was taking care of two of my children, barely, and was unable to go and take care of the other two.

So I prayed, un-eloquently, something along the lines of, "God, help!"

And somehow, I don't remember exactly how, within a minute, my two older children had come and joined me on the couch and were paging through a picture book for me so that I could read it to them.

I was still holding a baby in one arm, and holding and feeding the second baby in the other (which hurt) and I was using my eyes to read and my mouth to speak and it was very all-consuming, but I was taking care of the needs of all four of my children at the same time.

Which hadn't even seemed possible a minute before, when Bess and Gamgee were in theo ther room fighting.

So, I thought afterward, sometime when I had space to think again, that is the sort of help God is going to give me. I had been wanting to pray that he would make it less work, somehow. But that's not it, quite. Instead, he just stepped in and made it possible. I couldn't walk into the other room and get my toddlers while still attending to the needs of the babies, but God brought them over to me. He really did. I have no other explanation for them being in their room, fighting, and then in the next minute sitting next to me on the couch, helping me to read them a book. He heard my prayer and stepped in beside me when I was by myself and didn't have enough hands. He led my two oldest over to me, bringing them to where I could help them. He helped me.

So I feel like I know a bit better how to pray to him now. I need to pray not that he would take away the work (the hard work, the good work) that he's put in front of me, but just that he would help me to do it. To ask him to do it with me. Or maybe, rather, to let me do it with him. And he's shown me now that he will. "God, help!" is a prayer I now know that he answers. I just wanted to share the way that God has been kind to me, to praise him publicly for it. He indeed "gently leads those with young".

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


Amber said...

That's beautiful, Jessica. What a wonderful realization. Thanks for taking a moment to share it - I'm sure such moments do not come easily.

At A Hen's Pace said...


"To ask him to do it with me. Or maybe, rather, to let me do it with him."

So simple, when we see it this way. Yet hard to keep that perspective! It's so easy to think we have to do it all in our own strength.


Katie Jones said...

Very encouraging story. It reminds me of talks that I had with my aunt, who at one point had 5 children under six (one set of twins in there), and a husband serving in Iraq. She said that God gave her just enough strength to get by. Even more miraculous, all of her children are very well behaved and happy. May God bless you and your expanding family!

MomLady said...

Jess, you continue to bless me with your insights. I look forward to reading your posts - I learn more about trusting our Lord each time.

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

I need to pray not that he would take away the work (the hard work, the good work) that he's put in front of me, but just that he would help me to do it.

What a great insight. Thank you for sharing.

Courageous Grace said...

I so know what you're talking about!

I had one of those moments a few weeks ago while driving home with the baby after we had lunch with hubby. Baby would be quiet while I was moving and would cry loudly when I stopped (at a light). I was ready to rip my hair out and said the same thing..."God, help!"

Although I still caught every red light on the way home, for the next couple of lights the baby was quiet. That gave me just a few moments to calm down and collect myself and then tune out the cries for the rest of the trip home as I sang to him.

It was exactly what I needed, although not what I wanted at the time (I wanted all the lights to be green so I didn't have to stop and could get home faster to put cranky baby to nap).

Ain't it funny sometimes how God answers our prayers?