Do you ever feel like a grasshopper?
Sometimes our circumstances make us feel small. Like when everyone at your new job looks qualified and competent, but you have no idea what you’re doing. Or when all the other mothers bring well-groomed kids and healthy snacks to play group, but your kids arrive with bed head and McDonald’s French fries.
Grasshopper thinking results when we compare ourselves with others.
I’ve been struggling with grasshopper thinking myself. As I start a new school year with two high schoolers, my son is working on college applications. “Whose idea was it to home school, anyway? Do I have what it takes to coach kids through advanced chemistry? Can my kids make it in college?”
Grasshopper thinking results when we focus on ourselves and the task in front of us.
The more monumental the task, the more inadequate we feel.
Grasshopper thinking forgets God.
The Israelites forgot about God when they went to spy out the land He’d already promised to give them. God had parted the Red Sea for them. All they had to do was to go in and conquer. But when the 12 scouts went into Canaan to check out the land, the fortified towns and powerful people living there overwhelmed them. (See Numbers 13 for the whole story.)
When they measured themselves against the task before them, they felt too small. Fear kept them from entering the land God had called them to take.
Are you facing any giants this week?
- The massive pile/mountain of stuff on your desk. You ask yourself, “Why am I such an organizational failure?”
- Sticking in there with your kids or your marriage when the going gets tough. You wonder, “Do I really have it in me?”
- The new women’s study you’re leading at church. You think, “Who signed me up for this? Because it definitely was not me.”
We can counteract grasshopper thinking in two ways:
Focus on God
Grasshopper thinking results when we focus on ourselves and our overwhelming circumstances. Faith rises when we fix our eyes on God.
God is your Rock, your Shield, and your Fortress. Your Savior and Deliverer. Your place of safety. If God resurrected Jesus from the dead, He can help you write a book, parent your children, or make it through the week. If God defeated Satan at the cross, He can rescue your marriage.
The Almighty God will equip you to do everything He’s calling you to. No task is too big.
Trust him and take small steps.
Grasshopper thinking leaves us incapacitated. We do nothing because our circumstances are impossible anyway. The longer we do nothing, the more overwhelmed we get.
Faith inches forward.
Small steps over time add up to big results. Ten minutes a day organizes your cluttered desk in a week (or two in my case!). A half hour with your mate can improve your relationship. Over the course of a week, several short sessions preparing for that Bible study make it more do-able.
With your focus on God, every small step takes you closer to your goal, whether it’s completing a project or changing a relationship.
What about you? Ever struggle with grasshopper thinking? How do you handle it?
Linking up with Holly Barrett and Meredith Bernarad. (Check out their blogs for more encouragement!)
Sandy Winn says
I’ve taken on the “grasshopper mentality” lots of times but, like you said, it is a focus on myself rather than on my strong and powerful God.
Thanks for sharing, Betsy. Always you give a good word.
Praying for you, Sandy! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Kris Thede says
Yes. Calculus, grammer advanced physics in the school area. Trying to wait with a big faith to hear about our adoption referral [almost 8 months without any word] but often sliding into gloomy, depressed thoughts rather than being thankful for how the Lord is working. Some days almost seems like I need to tell myself to refocus on our powerful, almighty, loving God multiple times an hour…but when I do life is put into the right perspective instantly.
Oh may the Lord renew your hope day by day, Kris. That is really hard. May God’s love and grace fill your heart. Romans 15:13 is my favorite verse about hope!! (Boy am I glad I’m not doing advanced PHYSICS!!!!)
Carmen Horne says
Yep, sometimes when I gaze at what’s before me, I too get caught up in feeling so small. Great reminder today. Thanks girl 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, Carmen.
“Faith rises when we fix our eyes on God.” A good word, Betsy, thank you for sharing!
Visited YOUR blog, June, but couldn’t leave a comment. Nice pictures!
Betsy, I had to go back and look at this passage after reading your post. Thank you! Grasshopper thinking- I had never heard of this but yes, I have done this so many times. It is only when I fix my eyes on God and his purpose for me that I find peace no matter what. Lovely post, girl. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve been feeling like a grasshopper myself, Abby, which is why I wrote the post! Keep reminding myself.
Julie Lefebure says
Timely encouragement today, Betsy. Thank you! What a beautiful way to display this scripture. Lifting you in prayer today, dear friend!
Thanks for the prayer, Julie. You are SUCH an encourager!
Meredith Bernard says
Haha, I start leading a new bible study for women tonight, Betsy! So not feeling like I’m the one to be doing this. Thank you for these words of encouragement today. Yes, I’m living the grasshopper life way too much lately…and I appreciate the reminder that thinking and living like this is forgetting God. He is able. Always. Thank you for these words of hope today!
That’s funny about the Bible study being the same day you read this. May the Lord bless your study and make you a powerful encouragement, Meredith.
“Grasshopper thinking” is a very good way to put it, Betsy. I’ve had some very challenging experiences in the last few weeks. In early August my family left for our annual vacation at my parents’ in eastern Canada. I knew my parents were planning to move off their farm and rent an apartment (they are both around 80) and I knew our help would be needed with this. I felt completely overwhelmed at the prospect: looking after our kids is so challenging when we are on vacation and to try to combine that with such a big task seemed like something I just could NOT do. Well, the situation changed very rapidly: the prospect of moving was quickly placed on the back burner when my mother, who had already been feeling unwell for a couple of weeks, became steadily sicker. Each day brought a challenge needing to be faced. Could I take over all the household tasks? Of course I could. Could I take her to doctor’s appointments? Yes, no problem. Could I go with Dad to take her to the emergency dep’t two separate times, advocate for her, see to her needs, receive and process doctors’ information? Yes. And so on. As of today my mother has been in hospital for nearly 3 weeks; she has liver cancer, probably incurable. What the next days and weeks hold for her and our family is unknown (to us, at least, not to God). I now see that to look at a situation and assume I can’t handle it (or even to assume it’s all about me and my abilities or inabilities) is futile. As you say, “The Almighty God will equip you to do everything He’s calling you to. No task is too big.” He will walk with my mom through whatever she is facing in the future, and He will be with us in whatever way He is calling us to support her. So thanks for sharing this word today; it really spoke to me, and I have been experiencing its truth firsthand lately.
Oh Jeannie, I am so sorry to hear this. I’m praying for you now, friend. You are a truly amazing woman. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. You are more than a conqueror in ALL situations. That said, I know it must be an incredibly difficult time, a steep uphill road. The sadness must be overwhelming at times. May God wrap you in his grace and give you strength for each day, wisdom to know what things to let slide in your life right now…
Sabra Penley says
“Faith inches forward.” LOVE THIS! I try to live by this perspective–take one step at a time. And if we follow faithfully, we are right where God wants us to be. I am also trying to embrace the journey–for each step is a destination in itself. Thanks so much, Betsy!