NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Wednesday, February 3rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
Have you ever had one of those days where little frustrations stretch you to your breaking point? Commentator Whitney Williams has some advice.
WHITNEY WILLIAMS, COMMENTATOR: This mama of three young boys has a confession to make: Recently, I’ve noticed the Lord’s name whispering through my lips in moments of anger or in times of overwhelming stress.
I know it’s not right, but there’s something about one child whining for his umpteenth snack that day, while I’m wiping another and trying to get a disrespectful 7-year-old to do his math homework as my phone pings with work emails, that really drives me to my breaking point. “I only have two arms. I can only do ONE thing at a time. STOP WHINING. GET BACK IN YOUR CHAIR! NO, YOU CAN’T HAVE ICE CREAM FOR LUNCH, WE HAD IT FOR DINNER LAST NIGHT!” bleep. I have a feeling I’m not alone in this struggle. James chapter 3 verse 2 confirms it: “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man …”
Taking the Lord’s name in vain, whether out loud or in my head, is sinful, I know, but something interesting has come out of these careless moments. The Lord answers my call—even when I wasn’t really calling on Him. I immediately repent, and then, jogged from my frustrated fog, I try again. This time calling to Him intentionally.
It’s like when a friend answers your pocket dial. You go ahead and apologize, admitting you called her by mistake, “Oh hey, sorry, I didn’t mean to call you, but while I’ve got you on the line…”
I’ve also considered that in those moments, it’s possible that this Christian mama was not deliberately taking the Lord’s name in vain, but that her very soul was crying out to Him when her mind was too overwhelmed to pray.
Even outside of stressful moments, when you hear of a child in your church family drowning in his backyard swimming pool—Jesus! Another miscarriage—Jesus! Stage four cancer—Jesus! At times it’s all we can muster.
This one-word prayer holds tremendous power, if the heart cries it out in earnest need and trust. But even if it doesn’t, even if, in a moment of anger or frustration, you say the Lord’s name in vain, don’t let Satan win. Take it as an opportunity to wake up from your spiritual slumber and meet with the Lord, admitting your deep need for Him and trusting Him to meet it. He is able and faithful, is He not, to work ALL things for our good and for His glory? To put a new song in our mouths, as Psalm 40 says, rather than of a bar of soap?
I’m Whitney Williams.