“Trying to eat an apple with no hands”.
That’s what my daughter said my help was like last night!! I was trying to “help” her through some discomfort, but my “help” was marginal at best. She kept telling me so, but I was confident that all my tricks and tactics were going to make her feel so much better!
After each of my attempts, I’d excitedly ask, “Ok. Now how do you feel?” To which she’d reply each time, “It’s a little better.” I took that to mean all my efforts would combine to give her much relief. So I kept at it. Finally, after about the 3rd attempt and way past our bedtimes, I asked yet again, “Ok. Now how do you feel?” I’m waiting now with a big smile and great confidence. She responds, “Well Mom, it’s kind of like trying to eat an apple with no hands.”
Finally, I got it. My efforts were, let’s just say, fruitless! Only time would really provide the comfort she needed. There was a real remedy. It would be simple. It would be quick. But, it couldn’t be accomplished at 10:30 at night. It would have to keep until the next day. But could I wait that long? I want to help her now! Surely there’s another way!
My darling daughter, with all the patience of Job, endured all my intrusions into her life. She was content with waiting. She knew relief was just around the corner. She knew that my efforts would get me nowhere and even though she’d taste a bit of that sweet apple, she’d never be completely satisfied with those little nibbles. Even if she found a way to eat the whole apple, it would take so long that she’d either quit before she actually finished it, or she’d end where she started, still hungry.
That “still hungry” sensation reminds me of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. You know that story. The little caterpillar would taste bits of fruit every day, “but he was still hungry.” Finally, he gorged himself on all kinds of junk food and was full, but miserable afterwards. It was only when he tasted a nice, green, healthy leaf–something good for him–that he felt much better. Not only that, but he had the proper nourishment to create the best environment for him to grow and transform into a beautiful caterpillar!
Lord, help me not to settle for bits of fruit, struggling in my own strength, selfish in my pursuits. Help me to take in your Word, to be satisfied in you, to trust your timing for all that I yearn for in my prayers. Help me to wait on you, and to know that all that I take in will tranform me more and more into the image of your dear Son.
“Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”