Let Frustration Guide You

Consumed by Frustration

Ever felt consumed by frustration? Like all your attempts at progress meet only baffling failure? If not failure outright, perhaps you  just feel stuck with your wheels spinning.

  • 579286_51266544No matter what you try, you can’t lose weight and never have enough energy.
  • With all the cleaning you do, your house remains constantly cluttered and unorganized.
  • All your kind words and gestures along with any attempts to truly show interest fail to result in real connection.
  • Simplicity of any kind remains illusive, and life just seems constantly filled with drama and complication.

Frustrating. Baffling. Unsettling.

My first instinct? Do something about it. FIX THE PROBLEM.

But sometimes I can’t fix the problem. Sometimes I can’t  even think of anything else to try. And during these times, nothing frustrates more than feeling trapped in frustration with no prospects for change. It’s only in that moment of hopelessness do I realize that my efforts are worthless and that once again I simply must wait it out.

What to Do When You’re Frustrated

Sometimes, when all your efforts only meet frustration, the best course of action is no course of action. Instead, consider this approach:

  1. Stop. Quit spinning your wheels. This only creates more frustration. When something isn’t working, quit doing it. Allow yourself to “let be and be still” without any expectations on you and to instead simply “know” that God is God (Psalm 46:10).
  2. Listen. Consider what your body and mind are telling you. Likely, that includes rest, wisdom and simplifying. In my experience, frustration usually means a need for refocusing, for hitting my reset button.
  3. Look. Pay attention to where your efforts are blocked, where they meet frustration. List them if it helps. Simply naming frustrations and struggles often brings much-needed enlightenment. Pray for wisdom, then be on the lookout for it.
  4. Walk. In other words, keep moving through life but slow down the pace. Doing so allows for resting and waiting that involve meeting basic, daily needs as you release frustration and allow the fog covering the path in front of you to clear.
  5. Grow. Use this time to seek wisdom, keeping in mind this often means taking in without taking action. Give yourself time to soak in life-giving nutrients like a growing plant in a springtime garden.

Proverbs 4 gets at this process with its focus on gaining wisdom and avoiding evil. Jeremiah 17:19-27 does too but with a focus on deliberately taking time for regular Sabbath rest. Many other portions of scripture serve to bring us back to this idea of slowing down, refocusing and seeking wisdom. The repetition of the idea itself tells us of its importance and necessity.

Instead of viewing frustration as an evil to avoid, consider seeing it as a call to refocus on your Heavenly Father and the wisdom He offers. Spend time learning the lessons frustration can teach, letting them guide you toward His wisdom.

DISCUSSION: When has frustration turned out to be the path to wisdom in your life?

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.