Saturday, October 15, 2011

Encouragement--for the Tired, Frustrated and Weary

My heart deflated when I opened up the blog calendar and saw Melissa—our totally awesome schedule lady—had scheduled me to blog about encouragement. For a moment I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, or to fly down to Kansas and strangle her.

Melissa, what were you thinking???

Then I reminded myself Melissa had scheduled me to do this post way back in February. So even Melissa, with all her wonderful Supermom powers (and trust me, Melissa has myriad Supermom powers), couldn’t have known that last week my dog would get skunked, my toddler would climb onto the table and start eating/playing in the brown sugar, my husband’s truck would break down, and last but not least, I would learn that I need to toss the majority of my new manuscript. The manuscript I’ve spent four months working on and have 50,000 words refined and polished. The manuscript I was hoping to finish in about six weeks. Yep that manuscript. So if the dog/skunk thing didn’t kill my week, the manuscript no-go surely did.

So how do you find encouragement when you have one of those dog-skunk days, or weeks, or months? The answer is as simple and basic as you can get.

Look to God.

Isaiah 40 is one of the most encouraging passages of Scripture. I love how the passage declares God's greatness and sovereignty. Verses 12-15 say:

Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. (KJV)

But in spite of all the power God holds, that same chapter says God "shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."

So that same God, who holds power over the nations of this earth, also feeds his children like a shepherd and gathers them into his arms. And God doesn't stop there, He goes on to give strength to the weary. Look at verses 29-31:

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

So the next time you have one of those dog-skunk days, take a few moments to read Isaiah 40, and remember that 1. God is in control. 2. God loves and cares for you. And 3. God will give you strength, if you'll simply trust Him.

Now that you've all heard about my dog-skunk week, I'd like to hear about yours. Have you been facing trials lately that God has pulled you out of? Are you facing a trial today that seems like it might bury you? Leave a comment below. I'd love to see how God has been working in your lives.


  1. Well, I can say I'm not too worried about getting strangled since I don't live in Missouri. :) But I used my supermom powers and have already fixed that detail for you. Your dog-skunk week sounds like my roof leaking, washer leaking, child spilling water everywhere week. It will pass. Practicing patience, I don't have to go 90 miles an hour, even though I'm capable--being supermom and all.

  2. Your last week sounds like my last week, Naomi, but I think you get the extra prize with the dog-skunk bit. There are days when I can hardly take time to breathe, much less get everything accomplish for the day. In those days, I've found it helpful to focus on what's actually necessary and what I've put upon myself to do. What can I truly leave for the next day? What can wait and what will I wish I had put aside for another time? For me, it's playing a game with my girls and ignoring my unfinished to-do list. Being able to prioritize our tasks with an eye on what's important and what's wishful thinking is key for me.

  3. ((hugs)) Naomi.
    Excellent reminder.

  4. Sorry Melissa, it's Kansas. You USED to live in MO, right? So I wasn't that far off. Hoping you got your washer and roof fixed!

  5. Sarah!!! So sorry you had a bad week to accompany mine. I wouldn't wish my last week on anybody. But yes, take time out for your beautiful girls and prioritize. I understand what you mean about having trouble determining priorities.

  6. See, in my family it's been that my week's been going great, and my hubby's . . . hasn't. Which makes me seem rather oblivious to his woes as I go dancing by on a cloud. A whole different scent of skunked-dog. But I've been dousing the situation in a lot of tomato juice--I mean prayer (ha . . . ha . . . ha. . .), and this new week's looking better balanced. Love the verses of encouragement, Naomi. So simple, but so profound.

  7. Good to hear your week's been going well, Roseanna. So sorry for your hubby though. When my hubby gets upset, I normally end up down as well.