For those days discouragement sets in and breakthrough seems far away
It is Sunday morning and Mark and I are arguing and we don’t even know why. Maybe a sleepy comment offended me or a lack of appreciation for bringing me a juice offended him. Who knows. We both know we are not fighting over that. So why is the air so tense? Why are we talking so unkindly and fighting over something so petty - aren’t we over this? Discouragement threatens and shame tries to creep over us.
I knew that God had told me to write a blogpost, but even though I had sat down and tried to write it several times it won’t come. I even knew what I want to write about. Why is there so much resistance? Maybe I shouldn’t push it. Maybe it isn’t worth it anyway. Maybe I should just stop writing for a while.
We had been praying for breakthrough with one of our children and yet behavior seemed to be getting worse and so were our levels of patience. Was this going to just get worse and worse? Were we failing as parents? Where were the perfect parents who could come and adopt ours and do a better job?!
Our physical world can often tell us a lot about the spiritual reality. When it comes to discouragement I continually need to recognize the forces involved.
Last week God was speaking to me through homeschool physics. Newton’s first law of motion says that things stay in the state they are in, unless an external force is applied to them.
So if something is moving, it will stay moving unless a force is applied to stop it. And if something is stationary, it will not move unless a force is applied to move it.
That is why it is so difficult to get out of bed in the morning. It is why you feel better when you start moving (generally!) and why it gets easier to do something when you are already in the habit of doing it.
In 1 John it says that if we ask God for anything that is in accordance with His will, we can be fully confident that He hears us AND we can fully trust that we have what we requested. It says that we already have what we have requested.
Here, read it for yourself:
If I order something on the internet, it might take a while before it arrives at my door, but from the time I have bought it, I have the confidence that it is mine. In fact, I have the receipt and I can make a claim on the item if it doesn’t turn up or if it turns up damaged. From the time it is bought, it belongs to me whether or not it has arrived. Fortunately, we don’t have too many malicious delivery servicemen and we generally get what we have asked for. We wait for it and try to make sure someone is there to receive the package.
But when it comes to prayer - when we pray something do we believe that we have received it? Do we recognize that there is an enemy wanting to intercept our deliveries from God and discourage us from receiving them?
That Sunday morning Mark and I found ourselves treating each other as the enemy - we had to realize that was our real enemy was Satan trying to sow discontentment and irritations in our hearts to try to stop us from engaging with what God was trying to do that morning in the service. Thankfully he didn’t succeed. At some point we looked at each other and I laughed and said ‘what exactly are we fighting over?! ‘ And Mark said ‘Let’s pray!’ And we did. And we were able to be united with each other and God before Mark led the service and I led worship.
The child who were were struggling with so much was suddenly diagnosed with dyslexia and researching that also helped us to understand some of the different things he struggles with - like following more than one instruction at a time. Perhaps the request to ‘Go upstairs, get ready for bed, brush your teeth and put your toys away’ was not carried out due to lack of obedience…
That blogpost I found the most difficult to write - where the words kept flying away and I kept having to fight through in prayer? It was surprisingly the most shared and most read post to date - people understood. I don’t mind how many people read my posts or like or share them - my prayer is simply that God will put each post in the hands of the people who need to hear something from God today. I feel privileged to be able to share with others and try to be faithful to that call He has given me. But I also recognize that sometimes the greater the resistance, the closer and greater the breakthrough.
And so although I have fought to write this blogpost, I have kept going because I believe that someone needs to hear these words today:
If you are feeling a strong resistance today in your relationships, in your life situation, in your finances, whatever it is and you have brought it to God in prayer: breakthrough is near. The delivery is on its way. Sure, it doesn't always look like we imagine, but God has goodness on its way to you. Just as the defense in a football game gets more intense the nearer the team gets to its goal - the resistance you are feeling might just be the resistance of being so so close to your goal. Keep going and keep trusting. You have a Good Daddy.
Sometimes we just need to take a step back, breathe deeply and connect with God. In the midst of discouragement, sometimes we don't know where to start. That's why I've created a free guide for you with 8 practical ways to help you connect with God in 10 minutes or less. Check it out by clicking on the image below: