Do you ever wake up in the morning and find that you begin your day already discouraged? Nothing has had a chance to even happen yet but that doesn’t seem to matter. Or does it matter? Maybe it IS the fact that nothing has happened. Sometimes that “nothing” is really a “something ” for which we have been waiting for a long, long time.
I woke to discouragement and now I know why. It is not that anything happened to precipitate the feeling deep in my sleepy heart, it is the fact that what I have been waiting and wanting to happen has ….still…..not…..happened. And I am helpless to make it happen.
I begin my day in battle. My heart is so vulnerable and weary of this fight. I go to battle regardless, with what I have learned to be formidable against my foe.
I fill my cup with hot coffee and head to my favorite spot in my home, the yellow couch in the keeping room. This is where I am most happy in my house. This is where I go and meet with my Lord. This is where I have coffee with my daughter when she is home from college. This is where I talk and linger with my husband. This is where we all five sit and connect with one another when all the kids are home. No tv. No distractions. Just quality time with those who matter most to me.
My mornings always start here where I listen to worship music on my phone as I begin my day by writing in my gratitude journal. That is my first weapon I use against weariness and discouragement. I begin my day with God in worship, meditating on all I have to be grateful for from His gracious hand. By focusing my mind to count the endless gifts of His grace to me, I focus less on what He has yet to do for me and more on what He has already done. I have found , as a recovering perfectionist , I don’t have to try and think of what is wrong. It is as easy for me as breathing or blinking. What I do have to put effort to is meditating on what is true, right , lovely…..if anything is excellent or praiseworthy then I am to think on these things (Phil.4:8).
After I enjoy my coffee and worship time , having entered His gates with thanksgiving, I reach for my second weapon, the Word of God. I am reading through the Psalms and as I read , I take time to linger and meditate. I am on no timetable when reading my Bible because I do you not want to rush through and miss any truth the Holy Spirit wants to reveal about my Savior or apply to my life and faith.
I read of David crying out to God for help and deliverance and I am reminded of my own cries for help. I must admit my discouragement is still lingering as I cry out once again to God “How long?”. I remind myself that God’s ways are not my ways (Isaiah 55), nor His timetable my timetable. I vacillate between listening to my heart cry discouragement and telling my heart to remember all he has done for me and my family. Even as I say to my soul, “Thus far He has been faithful”, it seems to echo back “But I am sick and tired of waiting!”
My bouts of discouragement, countered with remembering his loving kindness, go back-and-forth. It reminds me of the peaks and valleys on an EKG machine. Oh that my confidence in Him was steadfast and not conditional!! My hope is battered by time, disappointment, and the unknown of a future out of my control. I am reminded to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor.5:7). I rejoice that the Holy Spirit never fails to remind me of all the hope I have found from my time studying the Scriptures. Through worship music and the Word of God, my faith is fueled day by day.
I end my devotional time still feeling the effects of a heart determined to have a pity party. I go get ready for church and look forward to what God has for me there- worship, faithful preaching of His Word, people who love me and my family, and the support and prayers of others. I may be waiting for that “one thing” that has eluded my grasp for so long, but I know that by seeking God I will always get something and it will be good. It is the reality of when the supremacy of Jesus is desired to be seen in a powerful, awe-inspiring way and instead, the sufficiency of His grace is given. It is always good but sometimes wanted secondary to the grand rescue or deliverance one’s hope was set upon.
The lyrics of the new song during worship minister to me, as well as the sermon. Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith, patiently and faithfully lifts my heart from the depths. I place my feet once again on the sure and steady Coenerstone of my faith, Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The power of the resurrection and my resulting salvation astound me once again and I am ……once again…..encouraged. My confidence in Him who died for me is reaffirmed and I am convinced that this hope will not be cared for absentmindedly but by an All-loving, All-wise and All-powerful God.
As we turn to leave our row at church, I notice a couple we know has come over to talk with us. I know through this conversation, Abba Father displays His loving kindness once again to me and in a tangible way offers renewed hope and possibilities for what I have been waiting. Through this conversation, we receive hope and direction. It is obvious that God has been at work even when I could not detect any action on His part. I chide my heart for wavering in confidence in Him. I am reminded to have eyes that see God’s faithfulness regardless of circumstantial evidence. How many times must I relearn the same lessons over and over again?! My Gentle Shepherd is so loving and tender to me and my heart falls in love with Him all over again! My heart rests in His steadfast love even when it cannot reciprocate steadfast confidence in return! Oh what a Savior!!!