It happens to the best of us. No matter how strong we are - or think we are. No matter how long we've been caregiving. No matter how mature we are in the Lord. No matter how faithful we are to pray and study the word. Some day, some time, discouragement will visit. It may even try to disguise itself as tiredness or weariness. It's at those moments when we are tired and fatigued that we are the most vulnerable. It's not a matter of if it's a matter of when discouragement will come knocking on our door.
For me - it's like today. I know I'm okay. But I also know Chris hasn't slept well in over a week and that begins to wear away at my strength and my soul. I get weary. Who wouldn't? I know you understand. I'm not weak in my faith. My trust in Him is still intact. The word is still rich and alive and I enjoy every moment I can soak it up. But I am tired. Well, it's actually a very good spot to be!
Why? You ask. Because I read last week in 2 Corinthians 7:6 that God encourages the discouraged. He can't encourage you if you are already encouraged. He'd be filling up a full cup. So being discouraged gives Him an empty (or partially empty) cup to pour Himself into. That's why it's such a good spot. God is faithful.
David encouraged himself in the Lord. He was in a tough spot. The soldiers he'd fought alongside of didn't trust him anymore. He was abandoned. Then when he returned home to Ziklag, he found it ransacked by the enemy. They'd taken all their goods and all their people. His wives were missing. It says that he encouraged himself in the Lord. ( 1 Samuel 30)
It didn't say he reminded himself of what a great soldier he'd been. He didn't tell himself how strong and mighty he was. He didn't even remind himself of how he took out a giant with a sling and a stone. He encouraged himself in the Lord. To me that says he reminded himself of how great God was. I imagine he said, now David - you know God is faithful even when men are not. David - remember that God has His hand on you and He won't let you go. God knows your thoughts, your intents - your heart. God trusts you in this situation. He can still be trusted.
Encouragement that sticks is just that - reminding ourselves of who God is and all He's already done. He has carried us to this point in time and He will not abandon us now. He will always remain faithful to us - He will always be our caregiver, our shepherd, our loving Father, pastor, and comforter. And the list could go on and on.
Today, I will remind myself of how far He has brought me and how He has stayed with me. I'll be thankful that He is patient and continues to keep my soul day after day and night after long night. He's not going anywhere. He's still got this. David said it this way - He's the lifter of my head. I will trust Him, the encourager, for one more day. Will you join me?
PS- The print version of 31 Days in Psalm 31 just released on Amazon today! Get your copy or your Kindle copy for just $5.