Thursday, May 16, 2013

Encouraging Discouragement - I am guilty, are you?

I had a very challenging day, rough waters, darkness rising over the horizon in several areas of my life.  I allowed discouragement into my private space and actually walked hand-in-hand with it, thereby inviting and actually encouraging its hold on me.  Quite a paradox, eh?  Encouraging discouragement. 

It was comfortable walking with discouragement.  Oh, how I admired my reason for discouragement, wallowed in it, moaned about it, reacted with "I don't have to do this.  I'm old enough now that I just shouldn't have to put up with this."  Actually gave it my joy to destroy.  No thievery here.  I gave it away.

"Woe is me because of my injury..." Jeremiah 10:19.  Or, "Woe is me for I am undone..." Is. 6:5. I allowed - actually that is too passive - I encouraged discouragement to whisper those things into my heart, because it fed me, puffed me up, made me feel like a victim.  I was vindicated.  Ah! I just knew I would feel better, but I didn't.

Dear Ones, I cannot blame my arch enemy for my discouragement.  Today, I was my own worst enemy.

Discouragement didn't even have to knock on my door.  I heard its footsteps and hurried to greet it with open arms exclaiming, "let's be miserable together." Misery does love good company, and I am really good company.

So, have I sufficiently discouraged you as well?  Don't you dare fall victim to this kind of chicanery (great word) like I did.

Spurgeon said, "Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and we see what we are made of." Let me just say that I didn't like what I saw today.

Yet, the Lord in His unfailing mercy ministered to my heart all day long - even as I ignored Him, replaced Him without shame, and treated Him as if He had no place in my world.

He whispered, "you asked for my best no matter the cost.  This is good for you.  I will not forsake you, You cannot go away from my presence.  There's no where you can be that I will not be there with you - going before you, watching your back, keeping you from stumbling.  If you take the wings of the morning or make your bed in Sheol, I am there.  I do not forsake my children." Psalm 139.

He gently nudged, "hope in me, and I will renew your strength." Is. 40:31, and "cast your care upon me for I care for you." I Peter 5:7, and "trust in me with all of your heart and don't lean on what you think you know about this situation, because I know what is going on, and I am not surprised.  I will direct your path" Prov. 3:5; and, by the way, "the hearts of those I have placed in leadership over your life are in my hand, and I can change them however I choose.  Do you trust me?" Prov. 21:1

And as the sweet, persistent, gentle voice of the Shepherd of my soul finally penetrated that barrier of discouragement that I had allowed to take His place, He gently took my hand from that of discouragement, immediately dispelling its presence and power and filling me with His joy.

His joy became my strength, and wisdom took hold, and I rejoiced knowing I was sheltered safely in His arms, walking by His side with no fear.

Now, the darkness and rough waters have not gone away.  There might even be a tornado or two brewing.  My pastor says we are either just going into a problem, in the middle of a problem, or are just coming out of a problem.

The difference is "even the darkness seems light to those who walk with the Lord."  Psalm 112:4.  How simple when He reigns in my heart and mind, and how utterly impossible when I take hold of the reins of my heart and mind.

"Lord Jesus, forgive me for encouraging discouragement and help me to sleep sweetly under the shadow of your protective wings, and rise on the wings of the morning, approaching the new day that you give me with the joy of you, Lord."

Do any of you know that great old hymn, "Under His Wings"? My sweet Granny loved that song.  When you read the lyrics, you will understand why.

Under His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life's trials are o'er
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I'm safe evermore.

Under His wings, Under His wings
Who from His love can sever
Under His wings my soul shall abide, 
Safely abide forever!

My Heavenly Daddy whispered "Mecca, stay close to My heart, and discouragement will flee and tell all of your readers to do the same."   Love to all, Mecca