"I'm Frustrated!"

We have one of the best postmasters at our local post office! When we got our PO Box about a year after moving back to Illinois, we were told, "Now be sure to notify everyone that you have a new address. Request that they no longer send mail to you at your physical address." Off the record though, we were all but assured that even if family, friends and businesses sent our mail to the street address, we would continue to receive our mail because the postmaster and other postal employees knew almost every resident of our small community by name! And that has continued to be the case even though Sherman has nearly doubled in size since we first purchased our home nearly thirty years ago.
Even Postal Workers
Get Frustrated!

Since we are on a first name basis with our postmaster, it makes going to get our mail an extra enjoyable experience each day. The Post Office has become another one of our gathering spaces for catching up with friends. That's what makes this interchange even more meaningful. Recently, Monique went to the post office and encountered the postmaster just as he was exiting the front door. He held the door open and they shared pleasantries that sounded like this, "Hi, Mrs. K! How are you doing today?" She answered, "Just fine! How about you?" "I'm frustrated!" he said. His reply surprised her a little as she empathized, "Oh! I'm sorry! I hope whatever it is will get better soon." By now he was standing out in the front yard a few feet away as he replied, "Oh, it will! I'm asking for help right now!" It was apparent that he was requesting divine intervention through prayer! We love prayerful, postal service people! 🙏

How do you deal with frustration? Just this week, I asked another friend how he was doing. He candidly admitted to me, "I'm mad at the world!" When I think about what's going on in my world, it gives me perspective on some of the frustration and anger that my friends are processing. First, it's an especially hot and humid summer here in the central United States! Pretty normal for this time of the year! But secondly, and not so normal, we are still in the throes of the Pandemic! People are on edge! Many are mad and feeling "boxed in" by these circumstances that have impacted our livelihoods, our families, our faith communities, our social lives and challenged everyone's health and well-being!

What is the answer? Well, we may not be getting any specific answers except to wait, stay put, keep trusting and praying for God's peace and intervention. God's prophet, Jeremiah, lived in an "in-between time" in Israel's history. God had carried His people into Babylonian exile to discipline them and then bless them. Pagan diviners and false prophets, whom Jeremiah referred to as deceivers, were telling God's people that this captivity was to be short in duration. But God was telling them, "Hunker down! Settle down. Get married and have families. Adapt and fit in! This is long term and you will be in exile for 70 years!" (Paraphrase of 29:1-10). 

This is the context of one of my favorite Bible promises and assurances, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.'" (Jeremiah 29:11-12). God said that He would not only listen to the prayers of His people, but He would "be found by them," and be present to them. God further promised to "bring them back from captivity," and specifically, "bring them back to the place from which He had carried them into exile." (Summary of 13-14). In short, God promised to intervene! 

Isn't this just like our God to intervene in His time and in His way?! "But when the time was right, God sent His Son, and a woman gave birth to Him. His Son obeyed the Law, so He could set us free from the Law, and we could become God's children" (Galatians 4:4-5 CEV). God came at the right time in history in the Incarnation to rescue and to save us! We should know by now that if He loved us and cared enough about our sin predicament to intervene in space and time that He is watching over us in this season of Covid-19. I take great comfort and it gives me hope during my frustrations that we serve a God who is providentially working for our good! Let's continue to pray for His intervention in His time and according to His way!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com

Comments

  1. We just have to hold onto God's word., but it is so easy for us to become stressed because we are human.

    ReplyDelete

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