By Sabrina Schlesinger
In our house we love pickles. Not sweet pickles, because those things are nasty, we love dill pickles. Baby, zesty, stackers and spears…we love them all! I also have a husband who is incredibly strong and feels the need to tighten down every pickle jar like he is protecting them from any unforeseen contamination or threat. So you can imagine the frustration my kids have as they attempt to retrieve said pickles and are faced with the sad limitations of their strength. I have often watched them struggle as their little faces and muscles strain to twist and turn the lid with little to no avail. And finally, with a bit of despair and defeat, they turn to me (who is patiently waiting next to them) and ask for help.
And it makes me wonder…How often do I struggle, get frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed out, depressed or anxious while He patiently waits for me to simply ask for help?
2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” (MSG)
I think too often we walk around as women, sisters, friends and mothers carrying burdens we were never designed to carry, the results wreaking havoc on our emotions and bodies. We get headaches, ulcers, nightmares, breakouts, hair loss and more because we are overly stressed with the cares of this world. How many of us might experience true joy and peace if we simply handed over our pickle jar to our Heavenly Father?
I am a fixer and a master at multi-tasking. I love math, numbers and finding solutions. I can also juggle a number of tasks, projects and problems at one time without showing much of a struggle. And although these are strengths in me, if not guarded, can easily turn into a great weakness. The error comes when I put merit and weight upon my God-given abilities and cease asking for help. And it is at this moment, when I see MY strength as sufficient, that my world crashes down on me and you can find me in the fetal position overwhelmed by life.
I wish I could say I have mastered this…the handing over of the pickle jar thing…but I haven’t yet. I find myself in a constant tug-of-war with Jesus as I hand things over to Him and then later discover I have taken it back again. But as I am winning this battle over my will, let me share with you two ways that I practically hand over the jar. Maybe this will help you too.
1. I verbalize my need. I know it may sound weird talking to myself, but there is something so liberating when I say out loud for myself and God to hear, “I need your help with (fill in the blank).” When my confession for help is only in my head, I easily dismiss it and allow the busyness of my life to suck me back into routine and handling things on my own until my next emotional breakdown. I mask and divert my frustrations and overwhelmed thoughts with distractions. But when I break the silence and say it out loud, something breaks in me. The power the enemy has had over me is released. He doesn’t want me to tap into the grace of God, but rather wants to keep me limited and bound in my own strength. Verbalizing it out loud is one of my keys for breakthrough and it may be one of yours too.
2. I listen. I need to talk, but equally, and possibly even more importantly, I need to bend my ear in attention to the Father. When I am doing it all on my own, I am limited, but when I hand my burdens over to Him, I unlock and unleash all of Heaven to move on my behalf. Sometimes I hear the words “hold still” while other times He gives me peace in the midst of a storm. At times I have heard Him share with me solutions to problems I would have never thought of on my own. The point is…I have to listen. I ask Him questions and I write down what I sense He is speaking to me. It is a simple and practical practice I have done for years and it works!
So today, if you find yourself overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated with life and all that it brings, choose to admit you need help. Hand over your pickle jar and allow His strength to come into its own. He is patiently waiting, and will continue to wait for you to admit you need His help. And the moment you do, His grace (His power and His abilities) will come rushing in like a flood.
Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance graphic designer and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!