By Suzy VanDyke
Originally published in Be Still Magazine, Issue 1
Dear friend who feels like you can’t get out of bed in the morning;
Who feels guilty because nothing too terrible has happened to you lately: nobody has died, and you have food each day and a place to live. Who keeps telling yourself you shouldn’t feel sad because you know Jesus and you know His grace.
You have friends and family who love you, but you still feel alone.
You feel in a funk.
You’ve felt this way for months, years, or maybe just a week.
It’s hard to just lift your head off your pillow in the morning and face the “normal” day of tasks ahead of you.
First, I want to give you a little squeeze, a smile of compassion, look you in the eyes, and tell you one thing.
No, you’re not crazy.
Even though nothing catastrophic has happened to you lately, there is still sin in this world, and that DOES affect you.
Things add up. Sorrow for loved ones who don’t know Jesus. The catastrophes happening around the world. Miscommunications and disagreements; situations where you don’t know what to do or what choice to make. All of these things can add up and tempt you to feel discouraged.
Remember that you’re in a battle.
You’re not at the finish line yet.
And though reading that sentence probably doesn’t make you feel any better yet, as Christians, we have to remind ourselves of reality and speak truth to ourselves.
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:10-18
The enemy does NOT want you to be effective for the Lord. He wants you to forget the hope you knew at first.
And you know that creeping thought that keeps telling you that you’re alone?
Guess what, you’re not. Not even a little bit.
Jesus promised He will never leave you or forsake you. Ever.
And He also completely empathizes with you, intercedes for you, and promises mercy and grace for you to get through this.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
Jesus WILL supply you with all the grace you need. Now is that a comforting thought or what?!
Dear weary friend, there are two little things I want to share with you.
First, wait for the Lord.
Wait for the LORD, be strong and take heart, and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14
As you wait on Him, keep FIGHTING. Fight for His joy. Keep asking for joy. Keep praying. Keep searching the Scriptures.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Secondly, don’t worry about tomorrow. Where you’re going in life; what you need to do; all those plans looming on the horizon.
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear … Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness … do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34
Focus on TODAY and the tasks that God has appointed you to.
Are you a wife? Are you a mama to a bunch of littles? Do you have a job? Are you a caretaker for an elderly relative? Are you in ministry? Do you have a huge pile of laundry to do?
We all have various tasks we wake up to each day. Sometimes it’s easy to think of these tasks as mundane and obstacles to a bigger vision; but that is so far from the truth.
These tasks are God’s specific and purposeful calling for you today.
That can be so hard to remember right?! But remember this each and every day.
Today God has appointed you to do these things. Do them by His grace, without complaining.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:14-16a
Dear friend, I know that pillow is so soft, and the blankets are so comfy, and the day seems so daunting. But His mercies are renewed every morning. He is ever faithful to you.
God WILL see you through this trial.
Wait on Him. Focus on what He has called you to today. And rest in knowing His amazing love towards you and nearness.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3