“… there is so much rubble….” (Nehemiah 4:10)
All of us have moments of discouragement in life. It comes in different packaging, but discouragement is visiting us when:
- We are weary with praying.
- We are afraid.
- We are tired physically.
- We are lonely.
Discouragement is an emotional virus, like a cold. Sometimes a cold will pass after few days. Sometimes a cold becomes pneumonia or something that is critical and life-threatening. Sometimes we can face and fight discouragement alone. Often it helps to have others walk with us. And like a cold, discouragement can become contagious. It spreads.
Usually discouragement hits our prayer life first. We can walk into a challenging time or experience with enthusiasm but then we become distracted by the rubble. We get our eyes on the garbage and lose sight of the end result of what we are to be about. (See Nehemiah 4:10-11)
Another way we can know we are coming down with discouragement is by listening to ourselves talk. Have you become critical, judgmental or negative in what you say or think about others? Maybe you are suffering from a bout of discouragement.
The good news is discouragement, while painful, does not have to be terminal. We can fight back. There is a cure. And interestingly, it centers on our prayer life. Three thoughts:
- Get your eyes off the rubble and back on to the Lord. We can become so discouraged by the work piling up and assignments coming due that we just want to give up. We’re looking at the wrong thing! Prayer helps us re-center our lives on the ONE who is most important.
- Rest in prayer. That doesn’t necessarily mean sleep, but if your prayers calm you enough to allow you to sleep, maybe that is the most spiritual thing you can do! Perhaps you need to begin “prayer walking”(for spiritual and physical health!)
- Wait on the Lord. “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on you” the Bible says. Sometimes we think it’s all up to us. We need to realize that it’s all up to God. Don’t get ahead of Him. Make sure you aren’t outpacing where God wants you to be!
Heavenly Father I know that, for whatever reason I have gotten my eyes off of You and allowed discouragement to slip in. I confess I am tired and weary. Help me realize that sometimes You make me lie down in green pastures in order to get my attention. Help me spend some time by those still waters that will restore my soul. I thank You today that I can be confident of this, that You who began a good work in my life will bring it to completion in the day of Christ. I now commit to taking my eyes off the rubble and putting them and keeping them on the Savior.
In His great name I pray.