At last the wall was completed to half its height around the entire city, for the people had worked with enthusiasm.
When I’m faced with opposition, it can render me immobile for hours and sometimes days. I feel worthless and pathetic. Any attempt at anything that would cause me some small amount of joy is quickly squashed out by negativity and hopelessness. My energy and zest completely wiped out by something dark and invisible. I’ve since learned that this isn’t something that just happens to me. From my time spent with Focus on the Family, mentoring, there are many faced with opposition. Some are so desperate that they self-harm and contemplate ending it all. We’ve got to reach out and find healing and restoration. I pray that God would extend His mighty hands into the lives of all people struggling with such debilitating hostilities. That he would block the fiery darts that continually pummel them into a state of nothingness. Peace be with you in Jesus Name!!
This past weekend I experienced this overwhelming feeling of discouragement and incompetence and I want to show you how God threw me His lifeline. He has one for each of us so in your moments of weakness, keep your eyes skinned!! He’s there!!
I woke Saturday morning, bound and determined, to write. I spent time with the Lord and I felt most certain that He gave me the content to compose, “Make it Count.” It wasn’t until I sat down at my computer, that my mind began to change. I was unable! It all sounded dumb and elementary. My sentences didn’t click together like some of my earlier efforts. I couldn’t figure out what the point was. Would I even make an impact? Who was I writing this for?
Ultimately, I walked away, angry, discouraged and fruitless. Not a terrific cocktail of emotions! I knew where this onslaught of attacks were coming from but I was not about to let the little devil have his way. I sat back down and switched gears. I worked on my volunteer assignments in the hopes of a distraction and to my great relief my disappointment fell to the wayside. I still kept my potential blog post in the back of my mind, silently praying for clarity and understanding but nothing was brought forth. Pleased that I was able to mentor, I went back to the little progress I had made for “Our Heavenly Prize.”
I completed my entry Saturday afternoon. I walked from my office with a smile on my face, thinking that it was good that I finally squeezed out another piece of writing. I sat at the kitchen table, while my husband made his famous homemade pizza, and read through it again searching for errors. It sounded disjointed and forced. I changed a few words here and there and still it felt as if it were done in my own strength and this isn’t the way it is supposed to go. The Lord shares and then I share!
I beat myself up because I didn’t follow instructions. I just surged ahead without consulting Him. I need to hold back until He comes forward. I cannot put something out that isn’t of Him. I closed my computer and spent the evening watching, “The Great British Bake Off” and then went to bed.
I woke Sunday morning feeling explosive inside. I felt words bubbling to the surface and I was most certain that today was the day. I was up at 5 AM for goodness sake and this is the best time to connect with the Almighty. The beginning of the day, when everything is fresh and brand-new. Again, same struggle!
I sulked most of the day and claimed that my cold was causing a disconnect. I questioned and prayed and still nothing came. I gave up and submitted to my sleepiness in mind, body and soul. I put my pillows in just the right order for a long nap and closed my eyes. It wasn’t until I became still that the Lord appeared loud and clear.
“Your Bible Study is on the last chapter of ‘Crash the Chatterbox’ and what is the topic?”
My eyes slowly opened and I glanced up at my husband who was quietly surfing on his laptop next to me and I whispered, “Discouragement.”
The last chapter is on discouragement and isn’t this just what I’m facing right now? I ran to my office and grabbed my book and do you know that it started with how Pastor Steven was struggling with his book. He was having the same troubles that I was facing. He couldn’t write, his words sounded silly, he had doubts and he almost threw it out. I’m thankful that he didn’t because what he said in his book pushed me from my bed, to my computer and I persevered.
I felt God’s hand on me but not necessarily on what I was writing. I pressed on because sometimes we have to make the effort. We have to show Jesus, by an act of faith, that we believe and that we are taking steps in His direction. Yes, He comes to us without effort in some situations but in other times we need to move first. How easy life would be if we just asked and received! What would that do for us if he effortlessly handed us everything? He is shaping and molding us through good and bad. He is always present watching and guiding.
Get quiet before God, ask and listen. He will reach out His loving arms and show you the way. Be reassured that if your answer does not immediately come, trust Him to bring it to you when the time is right. Continue to read His Word, speak out loud to Him, pray, and do good in this world until your prayers are answered.
I finished and I felt glorious! I cranked up my Christian music and joyfully continued with my day. In the midst of a song and without warning, tears burst forth and all I could utter was “Thank you.” His presence was crushing and it was lovely. He is with us. He wants nothing more than to spend time with us. He forgives and He saves!
The interpretation of Nehemiah 4:6 (NLT) is this:
The work of rebuilding the wall progressed well because the people had set their hearts and minds on accomplishing the task. They did not lose faith or give up, but they persevered in the work. If God has called you to a task, determine to complete it, even if you face opposition or discouragement. The rewards of work well done will be worth the effort.
Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness!
Thank you Pastor Steven Furtick for “Crash the Chatterbox!”