Discouragement

When the Fog Gets Thick

Blog_FogJust a half mile away from breaking a world record, Florence Chadwick gave up. She’d swum for nearly 16 hours in frigid water, surrounded by sharks and desperately exhausted, the fog so thick she couldn’t see the support boats that trailed behind her. The following day, she told reporters “I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen land I know I could have made it.”

Had the fog not obscured her vision, she would at that time have become the first woman to swim the 21-mile Catalina Channel. It wasn’t the cold or the sharks, or the fatigue that caused her to quit. It was the inability to see her goal, so close before her.

I’ve been in fog so thick that driving conditions were dangerous. It was almost impossible to tell if I was even driving in the right lane, or on the road at all. I wanted to pull over, but couldn’t see if the road had a shoulder or a steep drop. All I could do was keep moving forward and hope the fog would lift before I crashed into something.

There are times in life when circumstances descend like a cloud, obscuring our vision. We’re exhausted from striving, surrounded by sharks seeking to pull us down. The cold penetrates our hearts, paralyzes our hope. If we could just see how close we are to reaching our goal, we wouldn’t be so tempted to give up.

Maybe you already have given up.

The good news is, two months after her first attempt, Chadwick swam those same frigid, shark-infested waters. The fog was just as thick, the journey equally exhausting. But this time, she did not give up.

If you feel like quitting, don’t. You don’t know how close you are to your breakthrough. And if you have given up, remember Florence Chadwick. It may be just as difficult the second time around, but it will be worth it.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

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Rain in its Season

“I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.” (Lev 26:4)

 

Photo Credit: A Rainy Day | Union Square Park on a rainy day in New York C …

A Life Without Rain

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A life without rain is a life without life. Nothing grows without rain. Nothing lives without rain. As much as it may disrupt our plans, much more would be disrupted without it.

 

Photo Credit: Free picture: road, summer season, trees, woods, flowers, fog

The Blessing of Unmet Expectations

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We’re blessed when God fails to live up to our expectations yet we continue in faith, knowing his purposes are greater than our own.

 

Source: Hope in the Midst of Suffering

Photo Credit: Desert pictures · Pexels · Free Stock Photos

At the End of Ourselves

It is when we have come to the end of ourselves that we are on the verge of finding true life.  When things seem most hopeless, we are closer to a breakthrough than ever before.  Why?  Because we finally come to realize that the things we were hoping in were not worthy of our trust to begin with.  They were incapable of sustaining us or providing the life we were looking for.  We finally seal false hope in a tomb—never to be revisited.  This is the beginning of resurrection.

 

Photo Credit: Cemetery, Flowers – Free images on Pixabay

What we Expect

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Don’t stumble over your own expectations of what God will do and when He will do it. He will always be faithful, even if He doesn’t work as we expect and in the timing we expect.

 

Photo Credit: Free photo Time Stand By Clock – Max Pixel

Waiting for Spring

Blog_WinterSpringThe following are words I wrote to a friend who was going through a difficult season where it seemed all signs of life had disappeared. I hope they encourage you, as well—whatever season you’re in…

I’ve been praying for words to encourage you in this challenging season you’re in. Just remember that during the winter, it seems like nothing’s happening. Everything looks dead and barren, cold and empty. But beneath the surface, there’s a lot taking place.The snow is pushing the dead leaves into the ground so they can be used to produce fertile soil. This fertile soil will produce all the beautiful flowers and leaves and green grass for the spring.

We never know exactly when spring is going to come. The groundhog doesn’t determine it, God does! And it always comes, even if it’s late or unexpectedly early. But it always comes after winter. Our temptation is to give up in the winter—to become cold and die right along with it. But if we give up too soon, we’ll miss the spring that’s right around the corner.

Hebrews 6 says to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. A lot of times we have faith to believe, but we need the patience to wait. I experienced so many set-backs and disappointments while waiting to adopt our children. It was a discouraging process, and it seemed the dream would never come to pass. I almost gave up! But now I am holding God’s promises in my arms.

In order for there to be resurrection (spring), there needs to be death (winter). You may feel like your dreams are dead now, but that only means there’s a resurrection coming! All the great men and women of God throughout history had to go through a season of waiting before the dream HE had for them was fulfilled.

Even John the Baptist began to doubt when he was imprisoned, but Jesus told him “blessed is the man who does not stumble on account of me.” In other words, don’t stumble over your own expectations of what God will do and when He will do it. He will always be faithful, even if He doesn’t work as we expect and in the timing we expect.

(Originally posted by Jen on the Tears of Joy Blog as “Encouragement for the Wait”)