If I seem quiet lately, it’s because I just haven’t had much to say. Some people call it writer’s block–when the words flee and a frustrated silence is all that’s left. Even the words of encouragement have gone. NOT that God isn’t teaching me things. He is, though I’m a poor learner these days. What I’ve been left wondering, after these few weeks of rest I’ve given myself, is this: How do I write words of encouragement to anyone else when I seem unable to encourage myself or even take heart?
Have you ever woke up one day to the frightening realization that your life is a battlefield? That some great spiritual SOMETHING is going on, and you can FEEL it–the kind of feel that squeezes your heart and grinds in your bones and leaves you exhausted. The kind of something that makes people ask: “What’s wrong?” And you answer: “I don’t know. I don’t know…I just don’t KNOW.” Because really nothing is wrong–the same sun shines, the same kids smile and laugh, the same God-provision comes up with the dawn.
These last few weeks the FEELING of exhaustion has gone beyond impatience with God’s timetable. It’s gone beyond struggling to silence the lies Satan has been bombarding me with. It’s been learning to be thankful even when everything feels barren and upside down. It’s been learning that God cares even when I feel no one else does or when I feel unworthy of care. It’s been owning the truth that God loves me in spite of my failures. It’s been awakening to the peace of knowing “when one door closes, somewhere He opens a window.”(To quote the Sound of Music.) It’s been realizing that RESTING does not mean you are lazy. It’s been admitting that I CANNOT do it all.
So what encouragement do I give when I find it hard to focus my tired mind on any encouragement myself? I feel like I’ve said it before. Whatever you’re praying about or for, keep praying because God hears, and He will answer. Focus on the small things to be thankful for if you have to, and leave the big things that feel upside down to God. Go find your Bible and a quiet corner and maybe a gorgeous view of His creation and spend a little time steeping in His promises like some much needed SON-tea. Let yourself REST in God for a day, a night, a weekend until He fills you up. Maybe it’s time to stop focusing on what needs to be done, and start seeing what He is doing. One focuses on self; the other focuses on God.
Like me, He may be taking you through the battlefield to realize the ONLY thing you can do is rest in His arms. Life may feel senseless sometimes, but God can make sense out of confusion. He made the earth with His word. He made man from dust. Put stars in space, and our earth right where it needed to be to sustain life. He calms storms, commands the wind and the rain. He cares for sparrows and grass and the hairs on your head–and YOU, my friend, are much more valuable to Him than any of those things. So take heart. He cares, and He can do it. Whatever it is. He can do it! Period.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thess. 5:16-18
“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me… For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness… This God–His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.”
Psalms 18: 19, 28, 30