Hope, when discouragement comes at you fast from all angles, is my prayer for you dear Readers. I know we all have a story to tell, but let me go first in sharing my recent ordeal with you to be, hopefully, of some encouragement.
The last month has brought me much despair – from family, friends, fellow Christians, and self. Wow!!
My nine year old decided that he no longer needed to complete school work including work that would reflect on his final report card. He tumbled from the Honor Roll to C's and D's. This is the same child that also brought home the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) results with a perfect 5 in Math and an almost perfect 5 in Reading (he missed one question only). You can’t get higher than a 5. I was raging mad and extremely discouraged as I, due to the length of time I have been on this earth, am so aware of how much this boy is hurting himself and not realizing it now. He knew the consequences and withdrew into his shell from the moment I picked him up at school. I was truly disappointed and discouraged especially for him. I saw (when he realized that that was a dumb thing to do and there was nothing he could do about it) how he felt and I couldn’t comfort him because I was hurting.
“Misery loves company” is a good saying that became true to me as added to my sorrows with my nine year old, I had the support of a number of friends in a business venture, and in the space of one month, four of them (due to personal circumstances) quit. My business credibility plummeted. More cause to despair. I was cut, I was broken, I was discouraged.
No, it is not over yet. I spoke up on a particular course of action I felt was not prudent, and not in the best interest of the people, and the reaction I received was heart-wrenching! I was chewed up and spat out by a fellow Christian. I was left battered, torn, badly wounded; and, at that time, I thought I would never be able to worship again unless the Perpetrator repented.
I talk about hope, I write about hope, I try to encourage others to have hope in times of despair, yet what do you think I did in all this?
I turned on self and sunk to an all time low. My spirits were low, and I craved nothing but to sit under a juniper tree – I cried out, “it is enough now O Lord” take me away from here! (1st Kings 19:1-9). I didn’t ask to die, just for Him to give me a break – send me to Europe, Africa, Australia, somewhere I could get away from everyone. I grew weak, and I allowed the Evil One to crush my Spirit. I wanted no one’s help so I cried out to no one. I kept it all to myself and moan and groaned until my eyes were opened as the Prodigal Son’s. I eventually allowed the Spirit to guide me back to the place where I needed to be. I again picked up my cross, denied self, and ran like Ian Bolt following Jesus.
Dear Readers, disappointment, discouragement, disagreements, disapproval, discord, and discontentment, will come upon us. So What? We must deal with them! Get over ourselves and get on with life? No sense in behaving like I did and increase the suffering by turning on self.
Nearly every Christian at some point in our lives despairs and grows fainthearted. As I encouraged myself so I encourage you - look to the Word of God. “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Hebrews 12:3) Wow! God knows! Jesus has been there. He endured hostility, opposition, hate, and sufferings, from sinners!! Read that again, He endured hostility, opposition, hate, and sufferings, from sinners!! Yes, He ENDURED and it paid off in the end. We have salvation as a result. When we find ourselves in situations similar to what I found myself in; when family, friends, and fellow Christians cause you to grow weary and discouraged, look to our great example. Jesus the Christ who never beat up on Himself; He never harbored thoughts of wanting to quit. Instead He endured it all. When confronted with reasons to want to give up, run away, or end it all, consider, (seriously consider) our Savior, and all that He suffered for us!! Be hopeful, Dear Readers, and don’t remain in a weary or discouraged state. Burst forth with bowels full of hope!!
1. My child had to watch his brothers celebrate their excellent report cards and he couldn’t share in the celebration. I would like to think he learned a valuable lesson and this behavior will not be repeated
2. My business is prospering and I have learned a valuable lesson that disappointments will come, so deal with it and get on with the business at hand
3. My feelings still remain strong; and no, the perpetrator has not repented for me to hear, but I am still worshiping and praising God.
4. I told you already that I no longer beat up on self – I allowed myself to be guided back to a place of Love, Forgiveness, and Hope! Glory Hallelujah!!