Ever seen someone who is frustrated? Ever been the one who is frustrated?! A dangerous maelstrom of swirling emotions start spinning when you are unable to do something you once did or achieve something you’ve set your heart on – impatience, exasperation, annoyance, irritation, resentment, bitterness and anger are not far away.
‘I grew up with lots of anger, frustration, and violence in my heart’ – Rose Namajunas
‘It is hardly possible to build anything if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail’ – Lech Walesa
This is an era of growing frustration. There is frustration within 'me':
- I’m fed of waiting … for the job I want, to be understood, for something to change
- I can’t afford the house we need
- I can’t hold a steady relationship and build trusting friendships
- I don’t have the abilities I once had or hoped for – never mind running the marathon, a short run is less easy than it was
- I can’t communicate so well now as my memory is not so good
‘The people sometimes who are closest to us are the ones who bear the brunt of our frustration’ – Lynn Nottage
‘I can remember the frustration of not being able to talk. I knew what I wanted to say, but I could not get the words out, so I would just scream’ – Temple Grandin
There is frustration with 'others':
- People can’t be trusted nowadays, I feel so let down
- The political process – what’s the point as ‘those politicians’ are all self-seeking, weak and change nothing for the good?
- My boss overlooks me in favour of others
- Do you know how inconsiderate my neighbours are?
- Even the family don’t seem as appreciative as they once did and after all I do for them!
What are we to do in this age of intolerance? Is it inevitable that with age, we become grumpy old people, fizzing with resentments just below the surface that threaten to break out? The followers of Jesus will experience the full range of emotions just as the Lord did when he joined himself to humanity. There was much, and indeed is much, in humanity that could have frustrated the Lord but he ‘set his face like a flint’ and ‘for the joy set before him’ pressed on with unrelenting love and grace to fulfil his mercy mission and show us the way to God. When we feel those emotions of frustration it is not wrong, but what we do with them and what we let them do with us can be wrong. The way we deal with those emotions reflects who we are.
‘Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God’? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint’ – Isaiah 40:26 -31
‘Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail’ – Lamentations 3:22
Give your frustrations to God; ask for His grace in following Jesus and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Rising above those frustrations on eagle’s wings will take you away from the powerful swirl of negative emotions. Find someone to talk with about them and pray it through. God can give you all you need for every stage and age of life as you recognise the challenges and ask him for help - that is the right thing to do. Waiting may be tough in your circumstances but waiting on the Lord will renew your strength and patience.
TAGS - patience, frustration, frustrated, waiting, age, grace, emotions, anger, anxiety