“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of ANY kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to GROW. So let it GROW, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 1:2-4, NLT
Let me start off by saying simply.. In this season, I have been Extremely FRUSTRATED! ( and that’s to say the least…*Le sigh*) Personally there have been a few new changes since the start of the year, both physically and mentally; trying to maintain these changes are already enough, but to open up my mind to accept more has been overwhelming. We go through life trying to “adult” the best way we can with juggling bills, our proclivities to sleep rather than socialize, catching up with Netflix shows all while ensuring we buy organic and function as healthy, contributing members of society. Even with all of that going on, sometimes the feeling of mediocracy arrives without notice, making its imprint on our busy lives. It preaches to us that we’re too busy to make our lives better or that we don’t have time to fulfill our passions while chasing the ever elusive bag. While we all have experienced frustration, might I invite you to change the narrative of why you’re so frustrated; the irritation in your spirit that won’t bow to your anger, is a sign that it’s time to Grow. ( see what I did there..)
Take Peter for example, in John 21; At this point in his life, Peter is highly disappointed. He had a thriving business as a fisherman and that’s where Jesus finds and recruits him as a disciple at the start of his ministry. After Jesus’ resurrection, we find Peter here, after he has denied his connection to Jesus due to his fear of possibly enduring crucifixion as well. After denying the one he loves, he returns to the only thing he knows for sure, fishing. How and ever, he’s not successful at bringing home the bacon, or shall we say, fish fillets, as he used to be. After fishing all night, he has no success until a man gives some, “not-so great” advice
How it works together:
Let’s sit right here. In understanding the emotional responses Peter could’ve experienced. Imagine, leaving something you were great in, later to return expecting the same great result, only for it to escape you. Our frustration come from different places: the result of false expectations or a delusion perception, but the root is the same: not being able to translate our desires into reality. Trying to manifest what God has placed in us, into the world can be disappointing. We go through various stages, that doesn’t quite add up to all of the bells and whistles God has shown us. Usually when the translation is off, we put ourselves through an emotional rollercoaster of self abuse. We doubt ourselves, our worth, our gifts, our stability and our ability to hear God correctly. Many times, it’s not that we didn’t hear God clearly, we take the clips God gives us and assume they’re apart of the journey, when they’re the end result (Jeremiah 29:11, KJV). We’re having journey experiences with finished expectations and then blame ourselves for mistakes, when that’s what supposed to happen to find our way to the greatness God has for us.
I highly doubt that Peter assumed he’d go back to fishing after seeing Jesus raise the dead and open blind eyes, let alone, be horrible at something he built a business from; but his frustration led him to place of thriving, so here’s a few points about the blessing of frustration:
- Frustration allows for humbling and sobriety. This says to us: “hey, what you’re doing now, doesn’t work anymore, let’s go try another method.” Jesus suggests to Peter to throw his net again, on the right side of the boat, while this isn’t spectacular instruction and he may have done it already, but sometimes, it’s not what you do, it’s when and with what attitude hat makes the difference. Be willing to try it again, anyway!
- Frustration takes us to place of wanting more, whether it’s: understanding, teaching or mentorship, that we’d might not take otherwise. When Jesus gave instruction, Peter was so far from the shore he didn’t recognize it was Jesus and assumed it was just another man.
- Frustration encourages creativity and pushes us to move, it’s a sign that where we are is becoming too small. I bet Peter went out on the water expecting his usual sized catch. He prepared for what he expected, which is why the nets he had, weren’t enough when he caught the overwhelming amount of fish, just before giving up. It can also speak to why he stayed up all night trying to catch his usual. *Learn from Peter, and prepare for your overflow and not your usual! *
- Frustration teaches us to become proactive, corrective and thorough .
So with that, don’t allow you frustration to anger you into silence, allow it to move you into bigger, better and greater! go be great! No one can stop you, so don’t get in your own way, be like Peter and give it one more shot!