Last night we experienced some intense wind here in Southern California. It was a little bit scary. Tree pieces and all other kinds of debris were everywhere. The sound of the wind was so loud, it sounded as if something was pounded itself on our apartment. It wasn’t like anything I had ever experienced before here in California.
There Has To Be More.
This past Tuesday I wrote all about how thankful I was and how I wanted to continue giving thanks even though the Holiday of Thanksgiving was already over. I planned to write about how thankful I was for the little things in my life. I am thankful for the roof over my head, the food on my table (well my plate, our kitchen table doesn’t fit in our “cozy” apartment), and the clean water I drink everyday. As I was going over my to-do list, and strategizing where I was going to hang our Christmas stockings since we don’t have a fireplace, I became discouraged really quickly. I started to look and think about everything I currently didn’t have both tangible things and intangible things. Everything from only having one car to feeling stuck and further away from our dreams than ever before. My discouragement then turned to frustration and frustration turned to sadness. Resistance.
What in the world? Just a few seconds ago I was feeling thankful and overwhelmed by all of God’s blessings and here I was on the verge of tears feeling so sad. Where did all that thankfulness go? Have you ever felt discouraged? Have you ever felt your most vulnerable right after feeling the most grateful? Please tell me I am not the only one. I have so much to be thankful for, so much to be grateful for. There are so many things that I have that I know I take for granted each and everyday, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t desire for more. It’s not that what I have isn’t enough, because if God chose to not do another thing for me, I would have everything. But I have to believe that there is more! I have to believe that God has more for me and my family; that what I see in my heart will happen. But standing where I am and seeing only what I can see can be discouraging. There has never been a season in our life where we feel like we have given more, believed more and risked more. It has also been a season of most resistance.
Did You Know?
A few years ago, researchers placed a number of young trees in a greenhouse. One group was supported by (tied to) a stake. A second group was left to grow unstaked. And a third group was left unstaked but manually waved back and forth for several minutes every day. At the end of several months, the three groups of trees were measured for growth in height and trunk diameter. The staked trees were the tallest and weakest (small trunk diameter), the unstaked trees were intermediate in height and trunk diameter, and many were not growing straight. The unstaked trees that were waved back and forth each day were the shortest but had the greatest trunk diameter, thus were the strongest. Wind makes us stronger. Resistance makes us stronger.
The definition for the word discourage is to deprive of courage, hope or confidence. I have been blogging about courage and fearlessness lately. Like I mentioned earlier, we are in a crazy season of life. We are having to rely and trust God in very huge and interesting ways each and every day. I have had to take up courage and strength. Another definition for the word discourage is to obstruct by opposition or difficulty. I knew right away this feeling of discouragement I was experiencing was not from God, but instead the enemy who would try to take away the very thing I need in this season of my life. While I was driving to get me and BJ dinner, I knew that I had to snap out of this mindset, but to be honest it was so hard. I tried everything, but nothing helped. This morning, as I was cleaning up and doing my morning routine, I decided to turn on worship music. The moment I did, I just raised my hands and began to thank God for who He is. Not asking Him for anything. Not seeking His hand to move in my life, but His presence to be close. I was not only overwhelmed by thankfulness, but I was filled with courage. When you know that the One who made the heavens and the earth is on your side, how could you not be encouraged? When you know that Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is there with you, how could you not feel like you can conquer the world?
I wish I hadn’t waited that long to turn to Him. When I focused my attention on Him, my circumstances seemed smaller. When I looked at myself and depended on my own strength, my trials seemed so big. The wind in our life is there to make us stronger. The opposition we face today makes us that more capable to handle what God has in store for us. Have you been feeling discouraged? Are you being faced with great difficulty in the very thing you are believing God for? Turn your eyes to Him, to the One who can and I promise you will be filled with great courage.
TRUTH: “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.Be strong.”- 1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT
DARE: Embrace the storm.
**Here is a song my mom shared with me. I think it’s fitting for this blog. Enjoy!