Discouragement comes at the strangest times.
I am a person so un-prone to down days that I am absolutely caught off guard when one attacks.
This morning, I dragged myself out of bed in spite of the fact that “Fall Forward” gave me an extra hour of sleep time, I still dragged. My husband and I were half way to church when I tearfully requested he take me back home. I just didn’t feel like “acting” all church-y and happy when I didn’t feel church-y and happy. He quietly took me back home, pulled back out of the driveway and went to church alone.
I promptly UN-MADE my bed and crawled back under the covers allowing every possible thing wrong with me and/or the wrong with the world to completely steal my Sunday morning.
Until..I heard the sweet small voice of the Lord. He IS FAITHFUL. He DOES show up. He does CARE. I heard Him speak to my heart with a gentle, “Pat—Get up”. I heard God’s voice so clearly. So sweetly.
A Gentle Whisper.
I jumped out of bed. Ran to the bathroom and wiped my face. Cleaned up my smeared mascara…just barely. I jumped into my car and headed to church. I was over 1/2 an hour late and the only car pulling into a full parking lot. I grabbed my Bible and practically ran into church. God quickly led me to my husband who was sitting in an area we NEVER sit in. I sat down just as the last praise song finished and my Pastor of 19 years took his position.
The message: How to overcome Discouragement.
The message was about Elijah found in 1 Kings Chapters 18 and 19. One of my favorites. Listen to it here.
The story takes up with Elijah, a great man of God, who immediately AFTER A MIGHTY VICTORY, had quickly slumped into a pit of despair.
It happens to the best of us.
Elijah was scared and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there (i.e. he separated himself–something we often do when we are discouraged, depressed), while he himself went on a days journey into the dessert (get it? sometimes I allow myself to get a good ways down the slippery slope of discouragement before I realize what is happening). He came to a BROOM TREE, sat down under it and prayed that he might die…ALL AT ONCE AN ANGEL OF THE LORD touched him and said “get up and eat”. 1 Kings 19:3
That is what happened to me this morning. That “Gentle Whisper” of God said “get up”–“get up and eat”.
How about you? Do you need to hear those words from God?
God spoke to my heart using the voice of my Pastor laying out 4 areas that put us at RISK for DISCOURAGEMENT.
I easily recognized those I have allowed myself to slip into.
1) Mental and Physical Fatigue.
2) Detachment from Friends and Prayer Partners.
3) Fear and Hopelessness about things we can’t control.
4) Perceived Failure.
I absolutely love the words found in 1 Kings 19:11-13. Read them for yourself. You will love them as well.
Notice how the “speaker” in the passage moves from an “Angel” to the Lord Himself.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by”
I love that the Lord did not speak through the wind, or the earthquake or the fire–nothing harsh–but rather…through a gentle whisper.
Do you need to hear a word of encouragement today?
Do you need a gentle whisper from God?
If you are facing discouragement or feelings of hopelessness today, I hope you will consider the 4 things above and see if you, like me, see yourself in any or all of them.
I can not imagine living my life with out my Jesus. Without His restoring love. Without His WHISPERS because I am pretty sure that I will find myself sitting under a Broom Tree again some other time in my life. I’m just too human not to.