Getting Out of God’s Way

Sharon JaynesExpectant Living, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, Trusting God 169 Comments

 If you’ve ever wanted to jump in and solve someone else’s problems for them, then this post if for you! Join me in the laundry room.

He ironed. I watched.

I stood in the door frame of my guestroom, watching my nephew Jonathan iron the wrinkles out of his crumpled shirt, the rumpled creases out of his crumpled heart. He ironed and talked. I watched and listened.

Jonathan, my twenty-seven-year-old nephew, stopped by for a visit on his way to a wedding in my hometown. I’ll take every opportunity to spend time with my two nephews, Stu and Jonathan, and their sister Grace Anne. I’ve always been convinced that the stork dropped them off at the wrong address, missing my doorstep by 200 miles or so. I’m just crazy about them.

But life hasn’t been so easy for this precious nephew, or his siblings. While they have an adoring, godly mother, it has been the absence of a father that has left a lingering ache—an oozing wound. Each one has reacted differently to the abandonment, but it has been Jonathan, the youngest, who seems to have struggled the most.

I’ve always known that God had a special plan for Jonathan. The shaping and molding by God has been fierce, intentional, deliberate. But today he ironed.

“Aunt Sharon, can I borrow your iron to press my shirt for the wedding?”

“Sure, Bud,” I replied as I pointed him to the board.

I plugged the iron in the outlet, leaned against the doorframe, and watched.

As Jonathan moved the iron back and forth across the wrinkled fabric, he ironed out much more than a shirt. He ironed out the wrinkles in his heart, pressed out the pain of life without a dad, smoothed out the hurt of abandonment, and steamed out the stubborn creases of years of questions. Why did his dad leave? Why wasn’t he worth sticking around for? Why wasn’t he worth the effort? Why was he more affected and infected by the virus of abandonment than his siblings?

He ironed.

He pressed.

He talked.

I watched.

I listened.

I prayed.

I loved.

“God has done so much for me and in me,” he explained. “It has taken a long time, but He has healed me. He has mended my heart. I’m ready to move on now. More than my dad coming home to me, I pray that he will come home to Jesus. That’s what I want more than anything.”

Twenty minutes later, Jonathan finished ironing. One shirt. One heart.

You know, I could have said, “Hey, let me just iron that for you.” I could have finished the job in two minutes or less. But this was not about ironing a shirt. This was about pressing out the rumpled creases in a young man’s heart. I couldn’t do that. Only he and God could. Jonathan needed to hold the iron of God’s love and move it back-and-forth, back-and-forth until the rumpled mess was smoothed. My job was to watch. To listen. To pray. To love.

How about you? Is there someone in your life that has a wrinkled wounded heart? Have you yanked the healing tool of God’s love out of His hand and tried to iron out his or her problems yourself? Did you ever consider that you might be standing in the way of what God is trying to do? Those are hard questions. Perhaps you have thought that you could solve a problem or heal a heart quicker than waiting on God. Perhaps you’ve stepped in where you were never meant to step. (Speaking of stepping…I think I’m stepping on some toes. Mine are starting to hurt too.)

Perhaps one of the best things we can say to a person struggling is, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns,” (Philippians 1:6 NLT). This verse doesn’t say, I am certain that if you do what I tell you to do then everything will be fine. It’s saying, I know that God is going to work mightily in your life. Just stay close to Him so you can hear Him, so you can see Him, so you can follow what He’s telling you to do.

It’s hard not to step in! Our momma’s heart wants to help. We don’t like to see our kids, or anyone, hurting. But just as the caterpillar has to struggle to emerge from the cocoon, a soul has to struggle in the dark places of life in order to soar. And we shouldn’t mess with that.

It was such a joy to hear how Jonathan had pressed through the pain and let God iron out his questions—how God had smoothed out the bumps in the rocky road of adolescence after abandonment. He wears his mended heart well. That doesn’t mean that it won’t need a touch up pressing when daily life ruffles up the fabric of his heart from time to time. But I have every confidence that he and God will iron out the wrinkles together.

And the shirt? It looked pretty good.

Dear Lord, forgive me for trying to fix other people’s problems when they are not mine to fix. Today, I’m committing to watch, to listen, to pray, and to love. Help me not to get in Your way of what You are doing in someone else’s life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Is there someone that you need to place in God’s hands today? Leave their first name in the comments section as declaration! 

Is there something in your life that you need to let go of? Something that is holding you back from taking hold of all that Jesus has already put in you and has for you? Well, it’s time to get UNSTUCK. Let’s let go of all that holds us back, move forward in the promises of God, and live the bold Christian life God has planned all along!!! Click here to get a copy of Take Hold of the Faith You Long For and begin the journey to a life of mountain-moving faith.

While you’re there, check out my new book, Lovestruck: Discovering God’s Design for Romance, Marriage, and Sexual Intimacy from the Song of Solomon. If your “I do” has turned into “I don’t anymore,” then this book is for you. If you feel that your soulmate has turned into more of a roommate, then this book is for you! Check it out and get Lovestruck all over again.

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Comments 169

  1. I am in the end of a long battle against a convicted felon who is a title thief and preys upon women in their 50-60 range. He is a so-called christisn minister and marries people on the weekend but he is also staging himself as a Remodelers/roofer/builder!! I am headed to court next week for one problem and need to fight to keep my house in Texas in the next month!! Please pray for God to bring in the right people to keep my plans of blessing others and showing what faith can do by victory on earth to show how faith can move mountains!!

  2. Kylie. She is starting her life of recovery from addiction, and has So many road blocks in her way. Lord, please move in her life and help her to find You!!!

  3. plesse pray for Bob Clermont who is struggling with tonsil cancer and trestments6.
    I ask if you could also pray for me Patricia Morga, I am Bob’s girlfriend of 4 years, his daugher hates me, she wont ley me see him
    thank you so much

  4. I need to get out of God’s way as he irons out the wrinkles in my son Bradley’s life. Struggling with removing a narcissistic father from his life, trying to find a college major he enjoys, working through anxiety of not having school come as easy to him as others despite his best efforts. Praying hard as a momma can!

  5. Alexis
    My youngest daughter has strayed and I pray but not sure I’m praying correctly i just need to let God take over. I miss her so much but I would rather her come back to Christ versus me if that is what has to happen

  6. My daughter Denise drugs and alcohol and depression, my son John pornography other women besides his wife, My niece Shaina heroin addict, my two nephews drugs, Niece Living as a lesbian. Nephew living a life With a partner. Thank you for your prayers in Jesus name

  7. Thank you for inspiring devotion. I’m blessed.My sons dad walked out in 2000 never to come back or trace the well being of his two sons.It’s been a long journey but God has truly been faithful.
    Please say a prayer for Alex 27 and Ian chris 21.
    God bless you .

  8. And just like that God did what He promised- to work out ALL things for the good of those who love Him. Thanks for letting us share in another one of your glimpses of His glory!!

  9. Andrew, Kaitlyn and Melissa.

    Yep, this is me. Their fixer, their Mom. I have handed them over time and time again. They are all grown adults too!
    I am learning to let go and let God work, mold and shape them. I am just in too much of a hurry and want to fix it all now.
    Thanks Sharon for your ministry ❤️

  10. My daughter, Devon. She’s about to graduate college and begin life on her own. I pray for God’s wisdom for her. She needs to make a declaration of God in her life.

    1. Mallory
      May God open their eyes to His presence as I stand fervently in the gap for them! Amen

  11. Cameron Blake and Isaac. I Don’t know their names but I was walking by and the parents were saying bad words to them it’s a little boy a little girl I don’t know their names but please pray for them

  12. Please pray fro my niece Teleshia. She is a new mother struggling with the father of the child not wanting her. She is only 19 and has attempted suicide already.

  13. I need to let go of my husband and the fear he will have another affair. God is trying to guide me to be obedient to Him. It is so hard with the negative thoughts in my mind. Need prayer for this struggle. Thank you

  14. My daughter and grandchildren whom are being abused. My 27 year old daughter asked me to step in. I did; now she is blaming me.

    My own heart needs healing. 56 years old and grew up tolerating a father who brutally abused me and then began on my 4 children. Because of the Lord and His strength, I set my children apart and they are now healthy. Myself and husband hoped to restore a healthy relationship with my parents over the last 5 years since they are in their 80’s. Instead, my father once again put me down and told my husband he never wanted to see me again and that I had been a pain in the —- since the day I was born.”

    My oldest daughter asked me to get involved over a boyfriend who was verbally abusing her and my grandchildren. I did. Now she has made up with him for the hundredth time but she is now mad at me for intervening like she asked me to. 😞

    Her hurtful comment a few days ago was that I was “just like my parents.”

    I am so devastated because I have always been there for her and my grandchildren with no father. Because I spoke up for her…LIKE SHE REQUESTED… to the guy she is dating who has been verbally abusing her and the kids….she has now changed her mind and is furious and hateful to me.

    I seriously just want to die and go to Heaven. My whole life for 56 years has been all about who could break me and abuse me.

  15. My grandson Luke once walked with the Lord and was faithful to church but he has had several disappointments in the last several years. The biggest one is the death of his 25 year old sister; which left a husband and two very little boys. Even though he himself has been blessed with good health, a good wife, two adorable children, good job, and an extended Christian family that are loving him unconditionally he of course is not happy. Because he does not attend church either does his wife; not sure why. We are all concerned for the little ones to be brought up in the teachings of the Lord.
    He is angry at God and can’t get over it. His father told him if it wasn’t for Jesus you would never see Luann again. Please pray we cooperate with Lord and don’t get in the way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  16. Declaration! I need to let go of my need to fix Richard. I judge the progress he is making to get right with God because I am so impatient.

  17. My daughter , Jaylene, and 8 year old grandson, Bodi are living with us because his DaD left his Mom for another woman and is now living with that woman.
    Bodi spends week ends “playing” with his Dad.
    Bodi is having some pretty severe attitude/discipline problems acting disrespectful towards his Mom here at home during the school week when there are rules and schedules to follow. It just hurts so much to see the stress building and everybody is worried and scared for what is happening to our little boy.

  18. You have no idea how fitting this is for my life right now. Today. I would like nothing more than to sit down and have a chat with you over a cup of coffee. This is what God has been telling me to do after years of trying to carry the responsibility of their faith on my own. We both know that doesn’t work. It is in God’s time, not ours. After all He loves them even more than we do. Our responsibility is to pray and love them. We all make choices in our life, good and bad. While we would like to keep them from hurting for their bad choices because we hate to see someone we love hurt. But that is the only way for them to “get” it, and learn from their mistakes.
    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. It is so good to hear other people have problems too and how they deal with it. And to know we are not alone. We look around and see other peoples seemingly “perfect” lives and wonder what went wrong. What did we do wrong.
    By the way my daughter went to church for the first time in ? years when it wasn’t Christmas or Easter, or any other special service. She even filled out a connect card for the Pastor to make contact. Praise God! But I know I have to step back and let God do His work. I will keep praying.
    May God bless you with a Son-shiny day!

    1. Post
  19. Joe: I worry for my son.
    He’s amazing but I know he struggles with anxiety. He has a beautiful family and a therapist he likes. Please pray for him.

  20. My two adult children have been estranged for more than six years. My son had psychological problems & my daughter is embarrassed by him. Not even the sudden & shocking death of my husband, their father, brought them together. I pray for healing of minds, souls and bodies – myself as well.

  21. Your article reminds me thst as much as i care for my dear friend Harry,and want the unhappiness and mistreatment in his life to end…. my timing is not God’s. Pleases pray forpatience and strength and that i can remember God has a plan.

  22. My children Matthieu is wife Ronna, Sara, Josiah And Bethany . My grandchildren Ashley ( who we don’t get to see ) Stephanie and Stephen

  23. Ashley. I have to ease off of trying to Bible verse her back to Jesus. She has to find her faith all over again. She claims she doesn’t believe anymore but I left one last seed with her: I asked her to look around her, in her classroom, marriage and surrounding life to see Jesus at work. I’m going to step back and just be grateful that she’s speaking to me, which is a slight improvement. I know she hears me. Time for it to marinate!

  24. Praying that I can release my grown sons, Jonathan and Adam into God’s hands, and trust what He is doing in their lives.

  25. Both of my sons…amazing how your devotions always walk me through my own pain as I worry about them. I want so much for them to walk with make that relationship a priority. Then and only then will they be happy…and let go of the bitterness and inability to nurture a relationship with me as the loving Mom that they do not know. I am so afraid of leaving this earth before mending broken hearts…I know some day they will figure it out..but I want so much to see them happy and would hate for them to feel guilt and regret due to lost time in each other’s life. I just miss them…such a big whole in my life. I just have to trust that God has a plan!
    I am attending your event in New Bern…bringing my 91 year old Mom! Looking very forward to it!

  26. My son struggles with drug addiction and has since he was 17 he now is 34 and has 2 sons he is not there for them and it makes me sad for my 9 year old grandson who misses his dad. AS a mom you can only do so much to guide them but my son does not seem to understand while he is fighting his demons his sons are fighting them too.

  27. I place my own self in Gods mighty hands. Kris…that God would direct me in the way that He has for me. I am available and willing and waiting patiently for God to use me for His glory. I want to serve and be useful for Him…I am getting discouraged b/c I feel like a failure in this area. And also the same for my husband Pete.

  28. I’m a people fixer. The list is long. Papa, fix ME. Change my heart and help me remember to let You do Your job as I pray and stay out if Your way.

  29. I leave my husband Mr. Wilson, my daughter Kimberley, my son Robert and my son Anthony in My Father Yahweh hands from this hour on.

  30. My precious Grandson Wyatt. His father has been in and out of his life for the last 19 years. At the age of 17, he lost
    his momma, my daughter, to a brain tumor. He is a lost soul. My heartaches.

  31. My son Jason and his 2 yrs marriage that is not going well. I pray for him to turn back to Jesus. 4month old baby is involved.

  32. John, Andrew,Katherine….. God has abundantly blessed each one with everything anyone could need or want. Knowing Jesus is currently not on their radar. Father God I plead with a grateful and humble heart. Merciful Lord if it be your will….. do not let them slip thru your loving hands. Take them to eternal life with You. Forgive my untrustworthy anguish. You are the Holy Ruler of my heart!

  33. I need to let go of my sister Jess. May God bless her and keep her and make His face to shine upon her and bring her peace. Amen. 🙏♥️🦋

  34. I declare that Kwesi will get the needed job in Jesus’ Name to enable him take care of his family. Amen! He loves the Lord.

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