Training for Reigning - 11 - When things get on your nerves

FORGIVE ME, ‘TEENAGERS, if I seem to pass you by in favour of the Young Mothers. But even so this message of help could be of service to you, too, particularly if you are beginning to use that title phrase more and more often. Nervous tensions are on the increase in this much-too-fast age in which our lot is cast. And even the eldest of us have reason to be grateful to God for the rest of spirit that He can, and does give. Moreover, should you be inclined to smile at people who allow things to "get on their nerves," let me suggest that you "salt away" these thoughts for future reference. The day of your need of them may be closer than you think.
Young mothers, the Lord has brought directly to my attention the trials some of you are facing these days - a proof that He not only sees and knows, but that He also cares. (Otherwise this chapter should never have been written). And for once I think myself entitled to claim some small understanding of your problems. Because there was a day in my story when I was left with four motherless little ones, when I had to rouse four sleepy, poky children from their beds at six a.m., supervise their washing and dressing, get breakfast over, pack lunches to take to school, see bairns over the highway, take the youngest to stay with a kind sister in the Lord, go on to my day’s work, come home at night and get together my little flock, prepare and cook our dinner, wash, iron, and mend clothes, clean house . . . while I wished with all the intensity of my being that we all could go away home to Heaven and be done with it! Things "got on my nerves" pretty badly for a while, I must confess - until I found out that Heb. 4: 16 could be applied quite realistically to my problem. (All this personal history being given to forestall that caustic remark, "What does he know about it, anyway?").
First of all, let me say, young mothers, that you have my truest sympathy, particularly those of you who are trying to make a home in two or three rooms. The Lord give you strength of body and spirit to carry on. To attain to rest of spirit amidst the hubbub of noisy children, or cross, crying, half-sick little ones, or when you have a baby under your feet - when your work is far behind and friend husband is apt to complain, or to be critical when meals are late, when you are not well yourself, and wonder whatever possessed you to get married anyway, etc., etc., - I say let me assure you that under such a handicap it is painfully clear you will never, never, never get rest of spirit by making up your mind you won’t let things worry you any more. (The writer tried hard enough, and prayerfully enough, but it didn’t work).
WHAT YOU NEED IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES IS GRACE . . . and you can’t develop It, or cultivate it. (I tried these also.) YOU MUST PRAY IT DOWN FROM HEAVEN (Hebrews 4: 16).
Now it must be admitted that there are adjustments which sometimes can be made in our ways of doing things that will reduce tensions. For instance a very particular housekeeper might consider whether the Lord would have her recognize that she is making an idol of her home and so should learn to eliminate all but necessary work . . . Or it might be some of our readers could help matters by re-arranging their routine. For example, some mothers find that giving their small children the evening meal early, and by themselves, is a means of avoiding some meal-time friction . . . Or if you are not well perhaps you should visit your doctor . . . Or if you are indolent, and waste time reading magazines, listening to the radio, or gossiping, you will need to pray for grace to break off these bad habits, reminding yourself often that, even in the most disagreeable jobs, your heavenly Father wants you to do them "heartily as to the Lord
for ye serve the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:23-24).
But even if you could be unexcelled in all your duties as a mother you would still find THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PRAYED-DOWN GRACE. Many times I have had to cry, "Lord, give me some grace - and let me have it quick or I will lose my temper." Then, holding back the surgings of my spirit for a minute or so, and believing that God was giving me the grace I asked for, the quietness and calm of Heaven has come into my soul. It became a living reality back in those bitter days I referred to, and has never lost its power even in the hours of tedious illness.
But remember, like any other good recipe, IT WON’T DO
husband read this chapter too, won’t you? He may need its
message quite as much as I do)