Enjoying the Journey
These are unusual days for God’s people and many are fighting discouragement. A dear friend who labors in a challenging part of the world recently shared an encouraging article full of wise advice and I wanted to pass it along to you. I am doing so with his permission and with the prayer that the Lord will help you do what you can at this time and trust Him with the rest…
Missionaries do their best to remain positive and encouraging in reporting and other communication. Who wants a depressing prayer letter? My family does our best to follow this example and not to share all the gory details and discouragements of life and ministry. It might be tempting to wonder, “Do these folks have ever a bad day?” The truth is, yes! Everyone has bad days, right?
If I am brutally honest, I must admit that I have struggled more internally during the recent months than I have ever struggled. Maybe like you, I have had more than my share of moments of frustration, anger, confusion, helplessness, and even discouragement. The way forward for our family is unclear at the moment. Here are a few things which I have been working to practice in my own life.
Turn off the news and social media. In today’s world, news spreads in moments. Breaking news reaches us almost instantly on the devices with which we have surrounded ourselves. I am finding it helpful to not constantly check the news or peruse social media (which I do little of in “normal” times). Rarely does this waste my time leave me encouraged. The news anchors would be out of a job if everything were good news.
Control what I can. I cannot control the disease, the shutdowns, the rioting, the anarchy. But, there are certain things within my power that I can control. I can vote. I can voice my opinion to those around me and to my elected leaders. I can control my attitude, my reactions. I can control what I allow to pass through my eyes and what I allow my mind to ponder. I can control the spirit of my home. I can love the Lord and walk with Him.
Look unto Jesus. There isn’t much hope when I look horizontally, but if I will lift my eyes to look heavenward, there is great hope to be found. The Lord Jesus Christ is still the King of glory. Though the storms batter us about, He is the One constant when all else is shifting. We must get into the Word of God and let Him saturate our minds.
Invest my life into others. Those busy pouring themselves into the lives of others have little time for fretting and worrying. Investing in others begins with those in my household and expands to those whom God has placed within my sphere of influence.
One of the most helpful truths that God has given me during this time is that He is able to use that which I see as bad for His great purpose. Joseph told his scheming brothers, “You thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good”(Genesis 50:20). Amid the challenging troubles of the day, we must remember that God is still at work and He is in control. We are not stuck, we are waiting on the Lord. Pray that we will wait upon the Lord and be used of Him wherever He has us while we wait. Let us not be discouraged—take heart! This is our moment!