Writer’s block? No. More like life block! Lately it seems as though the world has been closing in on me and my family. And while I know that He’s there for me if I call on Him for strength and wisdom and courage, Satan has been attacking me day in and day out. It pains me to say this, but he’s been winning. He knows exactly what buttons to push to draw you away from the word of God and His grace. He knows what “D’s” to use to lead you to darkness…doubt, discouragement and despair.
They fall in line, one upon the other. It begins with doubt in your mind. One minute you’re on cloud nine. You’re praising God Almighty for your blessings and the promises of His future for you. The next, you wonder if He hears you at all. I know in my heart of hearts that He does. I know that He is responsible for everything I have and everything that I am. But if you listen to the doubt long enough, it’s easy to slip into a state of inaction and lethargy. All of a sudden, you’re not fortifying yourself against Satan’s onslaught…and the doubt grows.
Once it takes hold, the doubt gives way to discouragement, and they feed upon one another. The more you doubt, the more you get discouraged. The more you get discouraged, the more you doubt (picture the dog chasing his tail around and around, never catching it). Discouragement is a particularly nasty beast. With it, Satan can keep you under his oppression with relative ease. “God’s not answering my prayers,” you say to yourself. “What have I done to displease Him?” Which gives way to, “Why bother?” You become discouraged to the point that you no longer try.
Not trying begets a one-way trip into despair. Being away from your family. Struggles in paying your bills. Not spending enough time telling your wife how much you love and adore her. Your two-year-old telling you not to go and she misses you as you’re walking out the door to go to work the graveyard shift. Feeling like your meant for so much more while at the same time feeling like your stuck in mud…spinning your wheels and not moving anywhere.
You continue to cry out to Him in spite of the D’s. Only the cries are half-hearted. They don’t carry the weight of your faith because it’s being held down, face pushed into the puddle and you’re drowning, choking, gasping for breath. Where do you go from here? You have two choices: you can either continue down that dark road or you can lift your head up and begin to claw your way out of the mire.
Here’s what I did…being a born again child of God. I’ve put my big boy underwear on and have cried out to Him…and He’s heard my plea. I grabbed up my bible and clutched it to my heart. I filled my mind with images of His face, bloodied and battered…a crown of thorns piercing His brow. I’ve envisioned Him carrying the instrument of His death down a crowded thoroughfare, struggling beneath its weight. I’ve envisioned Him reaching down from the heavens, blinding light behind Him and showering me with its warmth.
I know you’re there, Father. I know You have plans for me, and it’s my impatience that’s started me listening to the first “D”. I know that You continue to bless me beyond measure even though I’m so unworthy of Your love. I know that you’re carrying me through the discouragement and despair, eliminating any and all doubt…bringing me to this point. Bringing me home again.
“I pray to You, O Lord, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if You are silent, I might as well give up and die. Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to You for help, as I lift my hands toward Your holy sanctuary…Praise the Lord! For He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. The Lord gives His people strength. He is a safe fortress for His anointed King.”- Psalm 28:1-2, 6-8
Here’s the song He gave me as I called out to Him. None of the D’s you may be afflicted with can compare to what He did for you and me. He’ll ALWAYS be there to lift you up when you fall. Forgive me, Father, for losing sight of that. Thank You for Your mercy, and I’m glad that You can still use me…no matter what condition I may be in.