Wow, what frustrating day I’ve just had!
It actually started last night when my mathematical cohorts and I were awake until 2:00 a.m. facebooking a study group. We were trying to model the elimination and dosage of a drug in the bloodstream. I was pleased that my math was spot-on and figured that it would be a simple matter to code the solution in the computer and print it out. By 2:00 a.m. I decided to call it quits for the night, thinking a clear head might better tackle the problem. After five hours of sleep and several cups of coffee, though, I still couldn’t get my code to plot the data. At 9:00 a.m. I was on campus wrangling with the problem again, only to fail by the time the assignment was due at 10:00 a.m. I stapled together everything I had and slapped it down on my professor’s desk.
“Dang, dang, dang!” I fussed, sitting back at my desk. I was practically in tears over my frustration with the code. The worst part of it all was that it only took about ten minutes to read the problem, write an equation to model the system, and test my theory. I spent hours trying to get the software to do what I had done in ten minutes with paper and pen.
When the professor started the class, I knew I had to lose the sour mood quickly so that I could absorb the lecture material. I didn’t feel like changing gears, though. I felt like bolting out the door, curling into a ball in a dark corner somewhere, and licking my wounds. I didn’t have the strength or the courage to face my fear of failure on my own. I turned to God.
“God, I know in my heart that this feeling of frustration and failure is not what You want for me,” I prayed. “I need the human compassion of Jesus right now. Please help me to feel His arms around my shoulders because I know that this feeling will pass and I will regain my confidence. Please help me to get through this quickly.”
I did have to wipe away a tear or two during the next 15 minutes, but the faith I had in God to get me through the frustration and anger was well-placed. I calmed down and gained a more objective perspective of the situation. I felt better. And, I apologized to my study-mates after class for losing my cool.
When I got home tonight, I ran the code again and it worked. I think I found where I was making my mistake, for which I am grateful. I am more grateful, though, for the opportunity to rely on the power of God to get me through a rough patch in the world. The more I am able to lean on Him to provide strength when I am weak, the stronger a person I become.
The rest of my day, by the way, was beset with problems, too. Forgotten paperwork, unanswered email, miscommunications, a sad friend, another with a job crisis – I felt as though I spent the entire day in prayer.
The good news is that God is with me every step of the way, every day. His unfailing loyalty and steadfast strength constantly reassure me that He is in control and His power is infinite.
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
-2 Corinthians 12:10