The Act of Discouragement

I go back and forth on posting this entry…I’ve written and rewritten it several times, often leaving it in the “saved to edit” folder for another day.  However, today I was slammed with so much discouragement and got incredibly deflated.  Maybe it’s just my turn in that area, I’m not sure. 

No one ever likes to admit they enjoy being encouraged…lifted up…It’s just not something we do.  I love doing for others and helping out and serving.  I get joy out of giving to others because God has blessed me with so much, why shouldn’t I be using that to bless others’ lives?  More than anything, I’ve had such a pull to serve underprivileged, homeless, those whom the world seems to have forgotten. 

I helped organize a service day for the entire singles ministry at my church.  I prayed over this so much and felt God’s Hand was all over it…and today I got the final registration sheets for the three ministries we’d be helping out on Saturday.  A dumptruck full of discouragement and frustration, with a heaping on of anger filled me…Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for those who signed up to help, but we fell short on one commitment for volunteers and canceled another because no one was willing to step out of their comfort zone.  I sit here and pray for God to take that sinfulness away, because it’s not anything I did but I get hurt for those we serve.  For the lives He works in…and how He uses us to bless others, while also blessing us in those moments.  I firmly acknowledge my heart is all in where service is concerned…but going through David Platt’s book church-wide right now just pushed me further into praying that God would work some huge miracles in lives so that they would get outside the walls to minister to others.  I guess I got my hopes up and put my faith in others, when God is trying to show me something so completely different in this.  I pray I see what He’s showing me with this project, because right now it’s discouragement and lack of respect for others who aren’t willing to walk the talk.
I feel incredibly confirmed in what God is commanding from me in the next step of my life…and the individuals that I have had the privilege to really be open about this with over the last few weeks have been so encouraging and uplifting.  I am smiling and crying at the thought of their words even now.  Yet, there’s been one person who really didn’t have much to say to me upon me telling them about God’s confirmation in this…and that’s the one that hurts.  I’ve looked to this person in alot of ways over the last year and know God has used them in my life to grow me, to challenge me, to sharpen me.  I didn’t want to be dramatic about telling them, but I knew they needed to know…and I worried over how to tell them for weeks.  I finally just couldn’t sit on the news any more, so it came out in an email.  Not my ideal situation but I had put it off long enough….(did I mention I somewhat fear this person too? It’s a respectful fear because of how theologically intelligent they are, and how utterly stupid I feel around them.)

I think in this situation, God’s shown me that I rely upon others’ support and encouragement too much at times…I look to their approval and not to His.  He’s pouring so much in to me and here I am caught up on the fact that this person seems bothered by any interaction I have with them now.  Maybe I’m just being overly analytical and paranoid…but I just feel that in their response, they were discouraging me in moving forward with this call from God…so much so that when I pushed further for more information I got no reply….and I realize this person is incredibly busy, but it came across as a slap in the face.  I need to pray through this hurt and focus on what God’s showing me in this instance….He’s the One that brought it about to begin with. I need to accept that I’ve allowed things to step in front of (or I’ve pushed them in between) God and myself.

If He is to do a good work in me, so that He can work through me, I have to focus on Him….and how He’ll accomplish that.  For too long I’ve allowed distractions, or placed them there myself, to move my focus, my time, and my energy off of God.  For Him to do His work in me, I’ve got to meet Him on this…and truly let go of everything else.

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